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Points of Order

Volume 524: debated on Monday 7 March 2011

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Following last week’s overwhelming yes vote for law-making powers for the National Assembly for Wales, both the Deputy Prime Minister and the Chancellor made statements over the weekend indicating the UK Government’s intention to begin a Calman-like process for Wales. Is it in order that these statements were made at their conference in Cardiff rather than in this House or the Welsh Assembly?

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for giving me advance notice of his intended point of order. I confess that I am not aware of any Government statement on this subject. Neither am I aware, notwithstanding what he just said in pursuit of his point of order, that there is a matter of order on which I can rule. However, I suspect that being a perspicacious Member he will find other opportunities to pursue the matter through the Order Paper and in the House.

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. You will have seen the large number of Members interested in the Foreign Secretary’s statement just now and the intensity of the questioning. Have you had any suggestions that there is going to be a full day’s debate on north Africa and the middle east in the very near future?

In the first instance, where Government time is concerned, that is a matter for the Government. Secondly, it could be a matter for the Backbench Business Committee. I was trying to think whether there was anything further in my mind on the subject, but I cannot recall off the top of my head any other plan. However, there are those two possible avenues, and I have a feeling that, if the hon. Gentleman is dissatisfied or if what he wants is not forthcoming pretty soon, he will renew his endeavours.

I am very grateful to the Deputy Leader of the House, because I did not have the Order Paper in front of me and could not recall that date. I had germinating in my mind the notion that something was brewing, but I did not know what. However, the Deputy Leader of the House has helped the hon. Gentleman, me and the whole House, so we are all extremely grateful to him.

Gosh, we have an outbreak of happiness in the Chamber on a Monday afternoon. We are all grateful, and I am sure the country will be too.