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Point of Order

Volume 592: debated on Wednesday 11 February 2015

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. I provided your office with a copy of the minutes of the petitions committee of the European Parliament of 11 November—

Order. The hon. Gentleman is a remarkable denizen of this House and it was very good of him to give me advance notice of what he wanted to cover, and I am genuinely sorry to interrupt him. He has indeed, as he rightly says, given some advance indication of the question to which he seeks an answer from the Chair. However, the issue he raises, and which he did, as I say, courteously treat of with my officials in advance, is in my view more properly raised not as a point of order in the Chamber, but in discussion between the hon. Member and me and my advisers, since raising the matter orally in the Chamber may itself, no doubt inadvertently, breach the rules of the House. I should therefore be grateful for the hon. Gentleman’s forbearance, and let me say for the avoidance of doubt that to welcome the hon. Gentleman to Speaker’s House for a meeting around the table with my advisers over a cup of tea will be an enjoyable experience for me, and I hope also for the hon. Gentleman, and I look forward to him speedily getting in touch with my office to arrange that agreeable encounter. Perhaps we can leave the matter there for today?

In terms of discussing this at the Procedure Committee, the fact that I cannot even raise the point of order is in itself a useful piece of information for it to consider.

Well, it has to be said that the hon. Gentleman is a distinguished member of that Committee and I feel sure he will advise it of his views, as he has always done—with alacrity—in this House. We look forward to further and better particulars in due course, and I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his understanding.