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Points of Order

Volume 606: debated on Wednesday 2 March 2016

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. You will recall that on 2 December last year, the Prime Minister came to the House and sought permission to extend into Syria the RAF airstrikes that were taking place in Iraq. In the motion, he undertook to provide quarterly progress reports to set out the impact of the strikes on Daesh’s finances, its fighters and its weapons. The basis on which the support of the House was given was that we would receive those regular updates, which would also tell us whether there had been any UK involvement in civilian casualties. A quarter has now elapsed since 2 December, and I seek your guidance as to whether the Prime Minister has sought to provide such a progress report to the House and, if not, what action I could take to ensure that he does.

A very brief, and I hope accurate, mental calculation suggests to me that there have been 101 days since the date to which the right hon. Gentleman refers. It is perfectly possible that the Government are contemplating such a statement, and if they are not doing so, it is possible that they might do so as soon as the news of his point of order wings its way towards the relevant departmental Minister, or even to the Prime Minister himself. If that transpires not to be the case, the right hon. Gentleman is a very experienced Member and a former Deputy Leader of the House and he will be well aware that he could pursue the matter at business questions, for example, or through the use, on other days beyond today, of the device that can help to secure a ministerial presence. Knowing him as I do, I know that he will utilise all the weapons at his disposal.

The day would not be complete without hearing a point of order from the hon. Member for Elmet and Rothwell (Alec Shelbrooke).

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. I seek your support and advice. You will know that last week we had an important urgent question about mental health, and you will recall that when I asked a question on that occasion, I commented on the fact that the writers of “Coronation Street” had done a great service to those with mental health issues by addressing the stigma and other relevant issues. It will not have escaped your notice that the creator and original writer of “Coronation Street”, Mr Tony Warren, has sadly passed away at the age of 79. Is there any way in which it could be noted, through you in the Chair, that the contribution to society as well as to entertainment of great pioneers such as Tony Warren has led to a great improvement in British culture and a greater understanding of our country?

My feeling is that the hon. Gentleman has found his own salvation. He has achieved his mission. Moreover, he knows that he has done so. No real contribution from me is required, other than to acknowledge that he has paid fulsome and gracious tribute to someone who proved to be a change-maker. I am sorry to learn of that gentleman’s passing, but he has been honoured by the hon. Member for Elmet and Rothwell today.