On a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. You will be aware that yesterday in the House, the hon. Member for Rhondda (Chris Bryant) listed meetings contained in the written witness statement of Mr Rupert Murdoch. The hon. Gentleman stated that the information had been published by the Leveson inquiry, whereas in fact it was still subject to the restriction order made by Lord Leveson on 7 December 2011. Could I ask your guidance on whether it is appropriate for Members of the House to disclose information before it has been properly disclosed by the Leveson inquiry?
On a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. Twice in the business statement the Leader of the House made a comparison between Mr Adam Smith, the special adviser who has just left his post, and another special adviser who left under completely different circumstances, and who was widely condemned on both sides of the House and by the public. It is unfair to cast aspersions and slurs on special advisers. The Leader of the House was not doing it in a nasty way, which I understand, but all Government Ministers are nervous and are very unhappy about this situation. Everybody says Mr Smith’s behaviour was completely straight and honest, and only reflected the wishes and orders of his master. This House should not cast any negative aspersions on that gentleman.
As the right hon. Gentleman knows, it is up to Members and Ministers to be responsible for their words and actions in the House; it is not for the Chair to make a decision on that matter.
SCOTLAND BILL (PROGRAMME) (NO.3)
Motion made, and Question put forthwith (Standing Order No. 83A(7)),
That the following provisions shall apply to the Scotland Bill for the purpose of supplementing the Orders of 27 January 2011 (Scotland Bill (Programme)) and 21 June 2011 (Scotland Bill (Programme) (No. 2)):
Consideration of Lords Amendments
1. Proceedings on Consideration of Lords Amendments shall (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a conclusion three hours after their commencement at today’s sitting.
2. Any further Message from the Lords may be considered forthwith without any Question being put.
3. The proceedings on any further Message from the Lords shall (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a conclusion one hour after their commencement.—(Michael Fabricant.)
Question agreed to.