On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. Is it in order for a Labour MP to have joked about appalling death threats made against a female MP on Remembrance Sunday? Would it be in order for that colleague to come to the House immediately and apologise to you, Madam Deputy Speaker, and also to the Minister for Employment, my right hon. Friend the Member for Wirral West (Esther McVey)?
I am sure that the hon. Lady will have notified the hon. Member to whom she is referring. As she knows—difficult as it is to chair the Chamber—the Chair is not responsible for what Members say outside this place or for interpreting the spirit in which any comment may have been made. For that I am grateful, given the point that the hon. Lady has made.
Order. I have not finished, Mr McDonnell.
I was going to suggest that perhaps such matters are better sorted out between Members over a cup of tea, but I understand that we now have another point of order. I hope that your point of order is further to this point of order, Mr McDonnell.
Further to that point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. May I thank the hon. Member for Stourbridge (Margot James) for notifying me that she intended to raise this matter today? I thank her for raising it as it allows me the opportunity to put the matter straight. Various allegations have been made. Let me make it clear: I have never called for any harm to be done to any Member of this House or anyone else. I have reported statements that were made at a public meeting in the Wirral constituency. I did not agree with them, but I reported them.
I have no doubt that the hon. Lady is sincere in this, but she should be aware that what we witnessed last week was a choreographed exercise between the Daily Mail and Conservative central office to take a remark I made on the Sunday and publish it on the Thursday in order to detract from the speech made by the leader of the Labour party. If the hon. Lady is concerned, as I am, about women’s issues, she should join me in voting against the closure of women’s refuges and the charges—[Interruption.]