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Points of Order

Volume 546: debated on Wednesday 20 June 2012

On a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. My constituent Fran Prenga is languishing in a Greek prison, in conditions that are clearly unacceptable and with normal standards of judicial process not having been followed. I have corresponded with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on five occasions, and was told last Wednesday that I would receive a reply on Friday. I did not receive a reply then, so I called the office on Monday and was told that I would have a response yesterday, which I have still not received. I have therefore had no reply, despite the matter being incredibly urgent, to letters on 25 May, 1 June and 14 June. I have not even had an acknowledgment from the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of letters dated 18 May and 14 June. Does he think—

Order. I have certainly got the message. As the hon. Gentleman knows, that is not a point of order for me, but I am sure that everybody will have heard what he has said and that there will be a letter or that the matter will be taken very seriously, now that he has raised it on the Floor of the House.

On a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. This morning The Guardian carried a report of the announcement by the Deputy Prime Minister that, after months of prevarication, the Government are to introduce mandatory carbon emission reporting by large companies. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs rushed out a written ministerial statement on the issue, but it was not available for Members to read until 19 minutes past 10 this morning. I know that you and Mr Speaker take a dim view of Ministers making announcements to the media rather than to this House. Have you received any indication from either the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs or the Deputy Prime Minister of their intention to make a full statement to this House? Alternatively, can you recommend which newspapers we should take in order to keep abreast of the Government’s thinking?

The first part of the hon. Gentleman’s point of order is correct: we do take a dim view of such behaviour. This House should get the message first, before the newspapers. I can assure the hon. Gentleman that we are all listening to him, and the point has been echoed, once again, on all Benches and in all parts of the House.

Bills Presented

Bank of England (Appointment of Governor) Bill

Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

John McDonnell, supported by Mr Andrew Tyrie, Mr George Mudie, Mr David Ruffley, Mr Andrew Love, Andrea Leadsom, Teresa Pearce, John Mann, Mark Field, Stewart Hosie, Mark Durkan and Mr Graham Brady, presented a Bill to provide that the appointment and dismissal of the Governor of the Bank of England be subject to the consent of a Committee of the House of Commons; and for connected purposes.

Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 6 July, and to be printed (Bill 8).

Scrap Metal Dealers Bill

Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

Richard Ottaway, supported by Chris Kelly, Sir Tony Baldry, Graham Jones, Graham Allen, Simon Hughes and Caroline Lucas, presented a Bill to amend the law relating to scrap metal dealers; and for connected purposes.

Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 13 July, and to be printed (Bill 9).

Social Care (Local Sufficiency) and Identification of Carers Bill

Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

Barbara Keeley, supported by Heidi Alexander, Sir Tony Baldry, Annette Brooke, Alex Cunningham, Dr Hywel Francis, Mrs Sharon Hodgson, Diana Johnson, Stephen Lloyd, Caroline Lucas, Sarah Newton and Laura Sandys, presented a Bill to make provision about the duties of local authorities in relation to the sufficiency of provision of social care and related support; to make provision about the duties of health bodies in England in relation to the identification and support of carers; to make provision in relation to the responsibilities of local authorities, schools and higher and further education organisations for the needs of young carers and their families; and for connected purposes.

Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 7 September, and to be printed (Bill 10).

Mental Health (Discrimination) (No. 2) Bill

Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

Gavin Barwell, supported by Mr Charles Walker, Nicky Morgan, Oliver Colvile, Dr Julian Lewis, Sir Peter Bottomley, Alison Seabeck, Rushanara Ali, John Pugh, Hywel Williams and Gloria De Piero, presented a Bill to make further provision about discrimination against people on the grounds of their mental health; and for connected purposes.

Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 14 September, and to be printed (Bill 11).

Mobile Homes Bill

Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

Peter Aldous, supported by Stephen McPartland, Heather Wheeler, Natascha Engel, Sarah Newton, Annette Brooke, Andrew Miller, Steve Brine, Ian Paisley, Dr Sarah Wollaston, Rebecca Harris and Mr Robert Buckland, presented a Bill to amend the law relating to mobile homes.

Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 19 October, and to be printed (Bill 12).

Family Justice (Transparency, Accountability and Cost of Living) Bill

Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

John Hemming presented a Bill to make provision regarding arrangements for children involved in court cases; to make provision about the transparency, administration and accountability of courts and case conferences; to require the promotion of measures to assist families and such other persons as may be specified to reduce the cost of living through lower fuel bills; and for connected purposes.

Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 26 October, and to be printed (Bill 13).

Antarctic Bill

Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

Neil Carmichael, supported by Martin Caton, Katy Clark, Zac Goldsmith, Dr Julian Huppert, Mr Bernard Jenkin, Charlotte Leslie, Caroline Nokes, Paul Uppal, Joan Walley, Dr Alan Whitehead and Simon Wright, presented a Bill to make provision consequential on Annex VI to the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty; to amend the Antarctic Act 1994; and for connected purposes.

Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 2 November, and to be printed (Bill 14).

Prisons (Interference with Wireless Telegraphy) Bill

Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

Sir Paul Beresford presented a Bill to make provision about interference with wireless telegraphy in prisons and similar institutions.

Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 6 July, and to be printed (Bill 15).

Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Bill

Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

Richard Harrington, supported by John Healey, John Mann, Stephen Pound, Mr William Cash, Mr Richard Shepherd, Mr James Clappison, Mr Edward Timpson, Karen Bradley, Andrew Griffiths, Caroline Nokes and Steve Brine, presented a Bill to create offences and make other provision relating to sub-letting and parting with possession of social housing; and for connected purposes.

Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 13 July, and to be printed (Bill 16).

Winter Fuel Allowance Payments (Off Gas Grid Claimants) Bill

Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

Mr Mike Weir, supported by Hywel Williams, Mr Nigel Dodds, Sarah Newton, Albert Owen, Mr Alan Reid, Ms Margaret Ritchie, Sir Robert Smith, Mr Angus Brendan MacNeil, Katy Clark and Dr Thérèse Coffey, presented a Bill to provide for the early payment of winter fuel allowance to eligible persons whose residences are not connected to the mains gas grid and whose principal source of fuel is home fuel oil, liquid petroleum gas or propane gas; and for connected purposes.

Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 7 September, and to be printed (Bill 17).

Prisons (Property) Bill

Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

Stuart Andrew, supported by Sheryll Murray, Jason McCartney, Martin Vickers, Kris Hopkins, Iain Stewart, Andrew Percy, Jessica Lee, Conor Burns, Amber Rudd and Karen Lumley, presented a Bill to make provision for the destruction of certain property found in prisons and similar institutions.

Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 14 September, and to be printed (Bill 18).

Marine Navigation (No. 2) Bill

Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

Sheryll Murray, supported by Jackie Doyle-Price, James Wharton, Oliver Colvile, Ian Paisley, Charlie Elphicke, Martin Vickers, Stuart Andrew, Mrs Mary Glindon, Caroline Nokes, Dr Matthew Offord and Bob Stewart, presented a Bill to make provision in relation to marine navigation and harbours.

Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 19 October, and to be printed (Bill 19).

Off-Road Vehicles (registration) Bill

Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

Lindsay Roy, supported by Mr David Anderson, Fiona Bruce, Mr Mike Hancock, Barbara Keeley, David Mowat, Fiona O'Donnell, Jim McGovern, Iain McKenzie, Sir Bob Russell, Graham Stringer and Valerie Vaz, presented a Bill to make provision for the establishment of a compulsory registration scheme for off-road mechanically propelled vehicles; and for connected purposes.

Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 26 October, and to be printed (Bill 20).

Presumption of Death Bill

Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

John Glen, supported by Ann Coffey, Sir Peter Bottomley, Zac Goldsmith, Sir Bob Russell, Mrs Madeleine Moon, Jeremy Lefroy, Fiona Bruce, Mr Jeffrey M. Donaldson, Dai Havard, Sir Alan Beith and Nicky Morgan, presented a Bill to make provision in relation to the presumed death of missing persons: and for connected purposes.

Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 2 November, and to be printed (Bill 21).

Price Marking (Consumer Information) Bill

Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

Jo Swinson, supported by Mrs Linda Riordan, Mrs Anne McGuire, Laura Sandys, Justin Tomlinson, Jonathan Edwards, Caroline Lucas, Lorely Burt, Amber Rudd and Stephen Gilbert, presented a Bill to amend the Price Marking Order 2004 to simplify, consolidate and improve price marking legislation; and for connected purposes.

Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 2 November, and to be printed (Bill 22).

International Development (Official Development Assistance Target) Bill

Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

Mark Hendrick, supported by Alison McGovern and Mr Michael McCann, presented a Bill to make provision about the meeting by the United Kingdom of the target for official development assistance (ODA) to constitute 0.7 per cent of gross national income; to make provision for independent verification that ODA is spent efficiently and effectively; and for connected purposes.

Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 13 July, and to be printed (Bill 23).

Disabled Persons’ Parking Badges Bill

Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

Simon Kirby, supported by Chris Heaton-Harris, Paul Maynard, Paul Goggins, Karen Bradley, Mr Robert Buckland, Damian Hinds, Robert Halfon, Ian Swales, Mr David Blunkett, Stephen Lloyd and Richard Harrington, presented a Bill to amend section 21 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970; and for connected purposes.

Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 6 July, and to be printed (Bill 24).

General Anti Tax-Avoidance Principle Bill

Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

Mr Michael Meacher, supported by Sir Alan Beith, Sir Peter Bottomley, Tom Brake, Frank Dobson, Andrew George, Helen Goodman, Kelvin Hopkins, Martin Horwood, John Mann and Austin Mitchell, presented a Bill to introduce a principle that any financial arrangements made by a company or individual should not have as their primary purpose the avoidance of tax; to establish a statutory rule to apply in the assessment of such arrangements; and for connected purposes.

Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 14 September, and to be printed (Bill 25).

Transparency in UK Company Supply Chains (Eradication of Slavery) Bill

Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

Michael Connarty, supported by Tom Brake, Katy Clark, Mr Tom Clarke, Ann Coffey, Stella Creasy, Jim Dobbin, Mark Durkan, Dr Julian Lewis, Fiona Mactaggart, Jim Shannon and Jim Sheridan, presented a Bill to require large companies in the UK to make annual statements of measures taken by them to eradicate slavery, human trafficking, forced labour and the worst forms of child labour (as set out in Article 3 of the International Labour Organisation’s Convention No. 182) from their supply chains; to require such companies to provide customers and investors with information about measures taken by them to eliminate slavery, human trafficking, forced labour and the worst forms of child labour; to provide victims of slavery with necessary protections and rights; and for connected purposes.

Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 19 October, and to be printed (Bill 26).

European Communities Act 1972 (Repeal) Bill

Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

Mr Douglas Carswell, supported by Mr Philip Hollobone, Steve Baker, Mr Jeffrey M. Donaldson, Philip Davies and Mark Reckless, presented a Bill to repeal the European Communities Act 1972 and related legislation; and for connected purposes.

Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 26 October, and to be printed (Bill 27).