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Points of Order

Volume 502: debated on Wednesday 9 December 2009

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I know how keen you are for this House to hear news from the Government first. In the past, when a Budget statement has been made—this is, effectively, an autumn Budget—MPs have been sacked for leaking the information to the media first. Clearly, the BBC and Sky had important knowledge relating to this Budget, so will you look into this to see whether there has been a leak and what can be done about it?

It is not, of course, a Budget. I note, however, the very important point that the hon. Gentleman has raised. I know that there has been a considerable amount of speculation, but I would be reluctant to say more than that. I am happy to reflect on the matter. I know how assiduous the hon. Gentleman is in these important matters.

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I need to bring to the attention of the House a separate, very important and worrying matter. Enterprise Inns is Britain’s most notorious pubco. Its reputation is shown by its incredible litigiousness. It has tried to sue local media and national media, and has indeed threatened hon. Members of this House. I do not know if you are aware of this, but Enterprise Inns has sought by way of legal threat and intimidation to prevent the Business and Enterprise Committee from carrying out its scrutiny of the activities of the pub company—

Order. I have listened very carefully to what the hon. Gentleman has said, which is certainly a matter of the highest importance to him and to many others. However, I have to say to him at this stage that if he has a complaint about a breach of the privilege of the House, that is a matter about which, in the first instance, he should come to me, or it is open to him to write to me, but he should not in the first instance raise it on the Floor of the House. Those options are open to the hon. Gentleman. If he wishes to pursue the matter with me in one or other of the ways that I have suggested, I will be all agog to hear what he has to say.

Bill Presented

Fiscal Responsibility

Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, supported by the Prime Minister, Ms Harriet Harman, Mr. Liam Byrne, Mr. Stephen Timms, Sarah McCarthy-Fry and Ian Pearson, presented a Bill to make provision for and in connection with the imposition of duties for securing sound public finances.

Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time tomorrow, and to be printed (Bill 13) with explanatory notes (Bill 25-EN).