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Points of Order

Volume 527: debated on Thursday 12 May 2011

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Further to my earlier question, could you provide me with some advice? Is it in order for a Minister to ask his Department not to provide him with information to avoid having to pass that information on to an MP seeking to clarify something that affects his constituency?

The short answer is that Ministers are responsible both for how they provide information, and for what information is, or is not, available to them. However, the hon. Gentleman has registered his point forcefully on the record.

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. I want to register my disappointment that the House has been denied the opportunity to thank and congratulate the Prime Minister on his reported decision to seek the withdrawal of 450 British troops from Afghanistan. That decision could be taken this month. It clearly suggests, first, a withdrawal from the Government’s over-optimism and, secondly, a determination to recognise the futility of the present operation and to bring our soldiers home to the safety of our shores.

The hon. Gentleman’s guileful if slightly inappropriate use of the point of order procedure to register his political point is further evidence of why he is the acclaimed author of a tome entitled, “How to be a Backbencher”.