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Point of Order

Volume 531: debated on Wednesday 13 July 2011

On a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. I rise to seek your guidance further to the serious concerns raised yesterday by my hon. Friend the Member for Plymouth, Moor View (Alison Seabeck). During my Westminster Hall debate on housing market renewal scheme cancellation, the Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, the hon. Member for Hazel Grove (Andrew Stunell), described representations by hon. Members on behalf of constituents who are living in the most appalling conditions as “sob stories”.

However, when we consulted Hansard after the debate, the word “sob” had been removed. When I checked Hansard again this morning, I found that the phrase “sob stories” had been replaced with “different stories”. Having watched back the video, it is absolutely clear that the Minister used the phrase “sob stories”, which vulnerable people trapped in tragic circumstances will find a deeply offensive way to refer to their plight. Is there any way, Mr Deputy Speaker, that you or your good offices could look again at this issue? The record is an inaccurate representation of what was said during the debate.

My understanding is that this was raised yesterday with Mr Speaker, who has promised to look into it and is going to come back on the matter. I am sure the Editor of Hansard will have heard what the hon. Lady has to say and will look into the matter as a matter of urgency.