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Point of Order

Volume 597: debated on Thursday 18 June 2015

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Last week, I asked twice about onshore wind—once directly of the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change on the Floor of the House, and once in last week’s business questions requesting a statement on support for renewables. This morning, a written statement came out with appearances in the media, and they have added to the confusion. Even a few minutes ago in this morning’s business questions, Tory Back Benchers were seemingly clueless about what the announcement might mean for projects in the pipeline especially. What powers do you have to frogmarch DECC Ministers here to show respect to the House and those in the onshore wind industry, both those in jobs and investors?

I fear that the hon. Gentleman invests me with powers that I do not possess. I am not in the frogmarching business. There are procedures for bringing Ministers to the House with which the hon. Gentleman, as an experienced hand, is well familiar, and he can seek to deploy them if he thinks it appropriate. Whether a Minister makes a statement in the House today on the matter in question is a matter for the Minister. I heard the exchanges, and if the hon. Gentleman, who is a dextrous and versatile operator in this House, remains dissatisfied, he well knows that there are means by which he can continue to raise the matter on the Floor of the House.

Further to that point of order, Mr Speaker. Were you astonished, as I certainly was, when last week the Minister for Skills made an important statement about changing policy on apprenticeships in The Sun—not to this House, not in this Chamber? It was a real innovation in policy, but it was announced in The Sun. Is that right?

Very few things astonish me. I am not sighted on the matter and I want to let the hon. Gentleman down gently, but I am not invariably in the business of reading The Sun, so I have not seen the material so covered. If a Minister has erred, I hope that the Minister will make amends. If the hon. Gentleman, on the strength of his 36 years’ service in this House, continues next week to be dissatisfied, I have a feeling that both the Minister and the House will not be unaware of the fact. We will leave it there for now.