Skip to main content

Points of Order

Volume 517: debated on Thursday 28 October 2010

On a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. During a debate on housing in Westminster Hall yesterday morning, I used language that, on reflection, was clearly inappropriate and not parliamentary. I seek to withdraw those words and to apologise to you, to the House and to the right hon. and hon. Members concerned in that debate.

On a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. I welcome the apology from the Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, the hon. Member for Hazel Grove (Andrew Stunell), but will you seek an apology from the Minister for Housing and Local Government, the right hon. Member for Welwyn Hatfield (Grant Shapps)? In Communities and Local Government questions last week, the right hon. Gentleman said that between 1997 and 2010 there was a net gain of 14,000 new affordable homes. Figures published by the Department for Communities and Local Government this morning show that, actually, the Labour Government built more than 500,000 new homes during that time. In 2009-10, 56,000 new homes were built in the teeth of the recession. He should come to the House and apologise.

The right hon. Lady has put her view on the record. A mechanism exists for corrections, and these can be made. Ministers are responsible for the content of their statements and answers.

On a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. Yesterday the Speaker made a statement in respect of the process for early-day motions when the Table Office is unhappy with them. I have been operating in accordance with that process on two EDMs, one relating to Andrew France, the other to Noreen Akhtar, since the start of September, and I requested that they be sent to the Speaker on 12 October, which I believe has now been done. Can the process be reviewed from the point of view of establishing a timetable? In certain situations, such as that of Noreen Akhtar, the timetable is quite important, because she is continually maltreated by Birmingham city council, which refuses to give any information about her case.

I thank the hon. Gentleman for that point of order. I will draw it to the attention of the Speaker.

On a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. Was it in order for the Secretary of State for Transport to claim in the Chamber this morning that the A453 widening scheme is in the development pool for decision in 2011 when that is simply not true?

On a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. In his statement, the Business Secretary said that the many questions that hon. Members had would be answered in the White Paper, but that document was not in the Vote Office when he stood up to make his statement and when most Members were already in the House. May I ask that when the Government make statements on White Papers in future, they ensure that Members of this House have the document before the Secretary of State stands up?

I believe that what the right hon. Gentleman says is true, but the document is now available to Members.