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Points of Order

Volume 603: debated on Monday 14 December 2015

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. I think you were in the Chair when the hon. Member for Blackley and Broughton (Graham Stringer) accused my hon. Friend the Member for Richmond Park (Zac Goldsmith), who has sat quietly and respectfully throughout this exchange, of not being in his place. Although my hon. Friend is completely wrong on absolutely everything to do with runways, it is extremely unfair to his constituents and to his future supporters in the mayoral election that they should think he was not here for the whole of the time that this statement took place.

I thank the right hon. Gentleman for that point of order. I thought it was very clear from the response given from the Government Benches that the hon. Member for Richmond Park was indeed here and had been here throughout. That was the case even at the time the point was made, but the right hon. Gentleman has made it once again and it is now firmly on the record.

Further to that point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. I would, however, like to point out that at the point the Secretary of State started his statement the hon. Member for Richmond Park was not in his place.

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. It was with complete horror that I read in the papers yesterday allegations that a British official was present in January 2002 when Shaker Aamer was tortured and that further officials arrived at Bagram airbase on the same plane as the then Prime Minister. Such serious accusations of a UK Government being complicit in torture not only bring disrepute on this institution, but cause grave concern about the UK Government’s record on upholding the universal declaration of human rights and on honouring the historic values of the right to a fair trial. I am looking for the Government to make an urgent statement on this matter and am calling on the Prime Minister to honour his words from 2010, when he said:

“For public confidence, and for independence from Parliament, party and Government, it is right to have a judge-led inquiry”.

He also said:

“That is what we need to get to the bottom of the case. The fact that it is led by a judge will help ensure that we get it done properly.”—[Official Report, 6 July 2010; Vol. 513, c. 180.]

I thank the hon. Lady for her point of order and for the notice she gave the Chair about it. This is obviously not a matter for the Chair, but, as she can see, a Foreign Office Minister is on the Treasury Bench, he will have heard what she has said and I am sure he will respond in due course.