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Points of Order

Volume 584: debated on Monday 21 July 2014

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. In his response to my question on Gaza, the Prime Minister accused me of seeking to justify Hamas rocket attacks. Seeking to understand a conflict is very different from justifying it, yet so often in the Israel-Palestine debate it suits some to conflate the two, which is both lazy and unhelpful. Given that in my question I clearly said I deplored the rocket attacks, as I deplored the Israeli incursions, would it be appropriate to ask the Prime Minister to retract his earlier statement?

I do not think I have to ask the Prime Minister to do anything of the sort, to be honest, although he is perfectly welcome to come to the Dispatch Box, if he wishes. However, I say in all courtesy to the hon. Lady—I hope she takes this in the right spirit—that I was very happy for her to raise her point of order and put her concerns on the record, and I am sure she will not be affronted when I say that she is a robust character and capable of looking after herself and that I do not think he has anything to apologise for or to add, unless he wishes to do so. We will leave it there for today.

Further to that point of order, Mr Speaker. The Prime Minister appears still to be in the Chamber; he must have heard the question, and he knows the answer he gave, which was clearly a travesty of what my friend said. Should he not now apologise?

These things are all a matter of context and interpretation. I have the highest respect for the hon. Gentleman, but I do not want to umpire on what really are considerations of preference, taste and judgment. I have the utmost confidence—this is an important parliamentary point—in the Hansard writers faithfully to record what was said by every right hon. and hon. Member. The hon. Lady and the hon. Gentleman have made their points, and I think it is fair that we leave it there for today.

Bills Presented

Energy (Buildings and Reduction of Fuel Use) Bill

Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

Dr Alan Whitehead presented a Bill to require the Secretary of State to draw up and publish an Energy in Buildings Strategy; to require the Secretary of State to take reasonable steps to implement that Strategy; to require the Secretary of State to set cost-effective targets to reduce fuel use; and for connected purposes.

Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 12 September, and to be printed (81).

Houses in Multiple Occupation (Energy Performance Certificates and Minimum Energy Standards) Bill

Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

Dr Alan Whitehead presented a Bill to require the Secretary of State to make regulations about the renting out of houses in multiple occupation; to require landlords to provide energy performance certificates to prospective tenants; to set minimum energy efficiency standards for the letting of houses in multiple occupation; and for connected purposes.

Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 12 September, and to be printed (82).