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Points of Order

Volume 551: debated on Tuesday 23 October 2012

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. The Government Chief Whip came to the House to move the writ for the Corby by-election, with Louise Mensch applying to become the steward of the Manor of Northstead in Yorkshire. The Opposition Chief Whip then came to the House to apply for the writs for Cardiff South and Penarth, and for Manchester Central, with Tony Lloyd also applying to become the steward of the Manor of Northstead in Yorkshire. I put it to you, Mr Speaker, that it is not possible, and I do not think that Her Majesty has necessarily agreed, to have two stewards of her Manor of Northstead. The Opposition Chief Whip has therefore not moved the writ for Manchester Central properly, in that there can be only one steward—the steward, not a steward.

I am immensely grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his point of order. He clearly takes a very keen interest in this matter, either on his own behalf, that of his Bosworth constituents or conceivably even Her Majesty. I may tell him that it is possible for there to be serial appointments to the office in question. I do not say that the hon. Gentleman’s interest in this matter is in any way anorakish, but it is certainly intense, and I hope that he will be satisfied when I tell him that the second appointment to the said office has the effect of causing the lapse of the first appointment. I hope that that has brought a little joy into his life.

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. During Health questions, the Under-Secretary of State for Health, the hon. Member for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich (Dr Poulter), gave me an answer in which he confused two trusts and created another, which he called the Halton trust, that does not actually exist. I realise that he may never have been north of Watford, but is there any way in which you can get him to come to the House and correct the record? My constituents cannot rely on assurances given by a Minister who does not even know which trust he is dealing with.

The hon. Lady implies that she is seeking a correction of the record. The Minister, like all Ministers and Members, is responsible for the veracity of his own observations in this House. He will shortly hear—not least through the Deputy Leader of the House—about the point of order that she has raised. Meanwhile I hope she will be satisfied with the knowledge that she has made her point in her own way on the record. We will leave it there for today.