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Points of Order

Volume 514: debated on Tuesday 27 July 2010

On a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. I seek your advice. Recently, I tabled a series of questions to the Home Secretary about the work of the UK Border Agency, and yesterday I got a reply from the Immigration Minister refusing to place in the Library of the House copies of the guidance and directions issued to UK Border Agency International Group staff about visit visas, on the basis that this information is “best viewed online”. May I request, Mr Deputy Speaker, that you speak to the Home Office and instruct it to be more co-operative with Members, so that information can be made available in the Library?

Further to that point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. I try as hard as I can to be as helpful as possible to the hon. Member for Ilford South (Mike Gapes) and others. He can, of course, go into the Library, go on to the net and view it online, if he wants to.

I thank the Minister for that reply, although I do not think it was quite what the hon. Gentleman wanted. However, it is now on the record. He feels that he should have been given the information directly, and I am sure that that can be looked at again.

On a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. Yesterday, at questions to the Leader of the House and to the House of Commons Commission, on the subject of early-day motions, the right hon. Member for Delyn (Mr Hanson), who is in his place—I advised him that I would be raising this point—gave a very helpful response on why early-day motions should be debated. However, he then observed that in 18 years he had not known an EDM to be debated. May I put it on the record that on 8 December 2009, as is recorded in column 154 of Hansard, early-day motion 1—an excellent motion in my name—was debated for nearly three and a half hours and voted on by 530 MPs? So EDMs do find their way on to the Floor of the House, although I agree with him that more should be debated.

As someone who used to put down many EDMs, I have great sympathy with the hon. Gentleman’s point, and I thank him for his clarification. I am sure that the House appreciates it.

On a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. You might recall that 20 years ago this week, the then hon. Member for Eastbourne, the late Ian Gow, was murdered by the Provisional IRA. He was a magnificent Member and somebody who, I believe, should be recognised permanently in the same way that Airey Neave is recognised. Mr Deputy Speaker, will you take that point back to Mr Speaker to see whether a permanent memorial can be granted in the memory of Ian Gow, the former Member for Eastbourne, who was murdered on 30 July 1990?

I will raise that point with Mr Speaker. It is on the record, so he will be able to read it as well.