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Points of Order

Volume 520: debated on Wednesday 8 December 2010

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. There are widespread reports that the Government will adopt the policy, which seems completely anti-intellectual and irrational, of removing the obligation to have scientists advising the Government on drugs policy. The suggestion is that it will be scientists out, and bigots in. Is it not extraordinary that there has not been a statement in the House so that we might question the Government on that policy? Will you use your good offices to ensure that a statement is made tomorrow, when there is nothing of great significance on our agenda?

I fear that the hon. Gentleman overestimates my influence, although I am grateful to him for doing so. He has registered his concern forcefully and it will have been heard by senior Whips on the Treasury Bench. I have a feeling, knowing the ingenuity of the hon. Gentleman, that he will return to this matter, and more than once.

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. At Prime Minister’s questions, the Prime Minister, I am sure unintentionally, misrepresented the position of those on the Opposition Front Bench with regard to a constructive offer that we made to discuss the future of school sport with the Government. He said that we had said that the current system was unaffordable and not working. That is not the case. You will remember, Mr Speaker, that last week the Secretary of State for Education agreed to meet us to talk about school sport. That has not happened. I raised this point of order to put those facts on the record and to say that I am seeking an apology for the misrepresentation of the Opposition’s position on school sport that occurred at Prime Minister’s questions.

I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for giving me advance notice of his point of order. He has put his point very clearly on the record and I dare say that he will want to share it more widely. As an experienced Member and a former Cabinet Minister, he will be aware that a variety of ways are open to him further to pursue this matter and, as appropriate, to seek a correction. I hope that that is helpful.