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Points of Order

Volume 518: debated on Thursday 18 November 2010

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Is there any way in which, within the rules of order, I can place on record the fact that a request for a debate with a vote on the nuclear deterrent should not really be referred back to a debate on the strategic defence and security review, from which the deterrent was excluded and on which there was no vote at all?

The short answer is no, there is not, but the hon. Gentleman has naughtily done it anyway—a fact of which I think he is intimately conscious.

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Notwithstanding what the Leader of the House said earlier, the Prime Minister said yesterday that the Government had maintained the previous Government’s spending on flood defences. As I understand it, however, that expenditure will be made over four years and not three years, as the previous Government had planned. That will mean important schemes being delayed, which will give great cause for concern, particularly in areas such as Cornwall and Cumbria, and this is the anniversary of the floods in Cumbria. Can you give me some idea of how I can correct the record?

I sense that the hon. Gentleman has already done so. I further sense that that is something he might want to share with the masses of his constituency and with the media in his area, but I might be wrong.

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. May I have your advice on the courtesies that should be extended to Members when other hon. Members invite large numbers of their constituents to events in the House? I have given notice of this to the hon. Member for Vale of Glamorgan (Alun Cairns), who organised an event in the House yesterday that large numbers of people from all the Cardiff constituencies attended. It was a non-political meeting, but hon. Members representing constituencies in and around Cardiff were neither notified of it in advance nor invited to it. Is there any guidance that you can issue on the normal courtesies and privileges involved? I am not alleging any wrongdoing—it might have been an oversight—but what are the arrangements, and what is your view, Mr Speaker?

The hon. Gentleman will not be surprised to hear that there is nothing in the Standing Orders on the matter, but this is really a matter of courtesy and, as he knows, I am in favour of unfailing courtesy. I do not think that I can rule beyond that, but if he feels that there has been a breach of that dictum, I dare say that he will want to pursue it with the people whom he thinks are guilty of the breach. He can always keep me notified; I have a sense that he will probably do that anyway.