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Point of Order

Volume 618: debated on Tuesday 13 December 2016

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. A fundamental part of our parliamentary democracy is the right of our constituents to raise concerns with their Members of Parliament. My constituent Dawn Knight has raised with me the terrible treatment she received from the Hospital Medical Group following cosmetic surgery. I have raised her case on a number of occasions with Ministers, including on the Floor of the House.

Last week, Dawn Knight and Lorna Kidd, a constituent of the right hon. Member for Ipswich (Ben Gummer), received solicitors’ letters from Schillings solicitors on behalf of the Hospital Group threatening them with legal action if they discuss their cases with a third party —in other words, including with their Members of Parliament. I know that the right hon. Gentleman has already written to you, Mr Speaker, concerning his constituent. May I ask you to look at this case, because allowing our constituents to raise their concerns with us is fundamental to the way in which we operate?

I am very grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his point of order, and indeed for his courtesy in giving me notice of it. I can confirm that I have received the letter to which he refers, and I shall reply to it in due course. Any attempt to impede an hon. Member going about his or her parliamentary business is potentially a contempt, and in such circumstances I would ask the hon. Member to write to me about this matter in the first instance. I hope that that is helpful both to the hon. Gentleman and more widely to the House.