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Point of Order

Volume 513: debated on Thursday 15 July 2010

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Is it in order for a Minister to mislead the House, as the Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, the hon. Member for Bromley and Chislehurst (Robert Neill,) did earlier when he claimed that no local authority had faced more than a 2% cut? Many authorities have done, including my own, and particularly Labour authorities.

I am grateful to the hon. Lady for her point of order. To accuse a Minister of misleading the House is usually a hazardous enterprise, and it would be advisable for her to add the word “inadvertently” before the word “misleading”. To charge somebody with deliberately misleading the House, which is the implication of what she said, is a serious matter. It might well be that—one must assume this—if there was any misleading, it was inadvertent. If she would add that in, I will happily respond.

Mr Speaker, perhaps you would like to invite the Minister to explain to the House how the inadvertent misleading occurred. The House has been misled. I am sure that he did not intend to mislead it, but he said something that is factually not true.

I am grateful to the hon. Lady for accepting the amendment I tabled—by way of a manuscript amendment. She is a very experienced hand—I will not say she is an old hand, because that would be ageist, wrong, unfair and discriminatory—and she and I entered the House together. She has raised under the guise of a point of order an interesting point of debate, and I have a feeling that she will want to share it with the people of Slough.

Bill Presented

Superannuation Bill

Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

Mr Francis Maude, supported by the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, Secretary Theresa May, Secretary Liam Fox, Mr Secretary Ian Duncan Smith, Mr Secretary Lansley and Nick Hurd, presented a Bill to make provision for and in connection with limiting the value of the benefits which may be provided under so much of any scheme under section 1 of the Superannuation Act 1972 as provides by virtue of section 2(2) of the Act for benefits to be provided by way of compensation to or in respect of persons who suffer loss of office or employment.

Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Monday 19 July, and to be printed (Bill 58) with explanatory notes (Bill 58-EN).