On a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. First, may I apologise for jumping the gun earlier? You were not in the Chair at the time, but I had not realised there was a statement to follow the two urgent questions, and as my point of order is about Remploy, I wanted to give the Minister concerned, the hon. Member for Wirral West (Esther McVey), who was present at that time, the opportunity to respond.
I seek your guidance, Mr Deputy Speaker. Last Tuesday afternoon I attended a Westminster Hall debate on Remploy, and I invited the Minister to come to Dundee to see the magnificent work being done by the work force at the Remploy factory in the city. The Minister stood up, cheerily smiling, as is her disposition, and accepted the invitation, saying she would happily come to Dundee. The Dundee press picked up on that and covered it the next day, and the Remploy work force took it as suggesting positive news for their factory.
However, 24 hours later the Minister announced that the Dundee factory would be closing. It beggars belief that she did not know on Tuesday what she was going to announce on Thursday. I have my own views on the morality of that, but was she guilty of breaching any procedural protocol either by misleading Parliament or withholding information that should have been made known to me? She could have said, “I’ll meet you privately after this debate,” or “There will be a statement on Thursday.” There were numerous ways in which she could have let me know that news, but when we learned the news on Thursday it came as a bombshell to me and the work force.
I thank the hon. Gentleman for apologising for jumping the gun before the statement and also thank him for the point of order. It is not for the Chair to make a judgment on the question he has asked. I know he is passionate about this issue, and that he attended the Westminster Hall debate he mentioned and the urgent question on Remploy that the Speaker allowed today. There will be other opportunities for him to raise this issue with Ministers in the coming days and weeks. He knows the devices that are available to him, and he has put his discontent on the record.
Financial Services Bill (Money) (No. 2)
Queen’s recommendation signified.
That, for the purposes of any Act resulting from the Financial Services Bill, it is expedient to authorise the payment out of the Consolidated Fund of any increase attributable to the Act in the expenditure which in urgent cases is payable out of that Fund under the Banking Act 2009.—(Greg Clark.)