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Point of Order

Volume 557: debated on Wednesday 23 January 2013

Order. The hon. Member for Bristol West (Stephen Williams), who should have been behind the Chair, has been rescued by a rather timely point of order, although I do not think that it was designed for that purpose. The hon. Gentleman should be behind the Chair. That is where he should be, not playing with his iPad.

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. During the statement, I criticised the Minister for the aggressive way in which she had introduced and handled her statement. I did so on the basis of a long knowledge of education statements in the House, but following my remarks, two Members suggested that I was being sexist. I was not, Mr. Speaker: not one word of what I said was sexist in any way, and I deeply resent the fact that two Members used their questions to suggest that that was the case.

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his attempted point of order. Let me simply say that it is not a matter for the Chair. Neither Member said anything disorderly. However, the hon. Gentleman has placed his attempted and, in his view, clear rebuttal on the record. I hope that he will take it in a good spirit when I say that in May this year, all being well, he will celebrate 34 years of uninterrupted service in the House. I am sure that he can bear the burden of those criticisms with stoicism and fortitude. We will leave it there for today.