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Points of Order

Volume 530: debated on Wednesday 22 June 2011

Order. May I ask Members who are leaving the Chamber to do so quickly and quietly, affording the same courtesy to the hon. Gentleman that they would want to be extended to them in such circumstances?

I seek your guidance, Mr Speaker, about Standing Order No. 122C, which governs rules for motions of no confidence in a Select Committee Chair, and states:

“A resolution by a committee expressing no confidence in its chair shall not have effect”


“the majority of the membership of the committee, including at least two members from the largest party represented on the committee, and at least one member from another party, vote in favour of the resolution.”

Will you confirm that the membership of the Scottish Affairs Committee is five Labour, four Conservative, one Liberal Democrat and one from the Scottish National party? Does that not mean, then, that it will fall to two Labour members of the Committee to decide whether it is acceptable for the Committee Chairman to remain in office after describing the Scottish National party as “neo-fascists”?

The hon. Gentleman has quoted the Standing Order and offered his analysis of the situation, and it falls to the Committee to decide what, if any, action it wishes to take. There is no matter of order on which I need rule.

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. It is not my wish to extend Prime Minister’s Question Time, and I realise the number of Members who were trying to catch your eye. However, in order that there should not be any misunderstanding, may I say that, although the point of view on Libya put forward from the Front Benches may, for all I know, remain the majority view in the House, there is a different point of view? That is the desire to bring about a genuine ceasefire as soon as possible. It should be understood that the view that has been expressed in the House today is not by any means the view of all of us.

The hon. Gentleman, in a disorderly but engaging way, has now made the position as far as he and perhaps others are concerned very clear. We are grateful to him.