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Point of Order

Volume 532: debated on Thursday 8 September 2011

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. This relates to what we have just been discussing, so I am sorry that the Minister has already fled the Chamber. A written ministerial statement relating to the commission on the West Lothian question was tabled this morning. It states that the Government will

“consult with Mr Speaker and other Parliamentary authorities”

on how the commission can be created and how it will consider matters relating to how Parliament should address the West Lothian question. We note that that puts any onus to consult other political parties on the Speaker. I hope that you will take back to Mr Speaker the Opposition’s hope that all political parties in the House will be consulted before terms of reference are brought forward and the membership of the commission is agreed. I raise this as a point of order only because the Government have decided to put the matter of consultation in the hands of Mr Speaker.

As the hon. Gentleman knows, strictly speaking that is not a point of order for business today, but he has made his point on the written ministerial statement, and I am absolutely confident that Mr Speaker will have considered all the necessary matters that will involve him. The hon. Gentleman can rest assured that Mr Speaker will discharge his duties accordingly.

Further to that point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. I will read what the hon. Gentleman has said in Hansard—I did not hear all of it, because he did not do me the courtesy of notifying me of his intention to raise a point of order. Had I heard all of it, I would have been able to respond now. I will respond at a later date.

Minister, we are grateful for your offer of help. I am sure that the House will now be able to proceed with the business before us.