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Points of Order

Volume 646: debated on Thursday 13 September 2018

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Individuals wishing to renew passports earlier than their expiry date are being informed by the Passport Office that Government rules since 10 September state that the expiry date of the replacement passport will be based on the time of the renewal, not the original passport’s expiry date. We know that many countries demand six months’ validity to allow entry, so many people are forced to apply early. Have the Government given any indication that they will inform the House about that change?

The short answer is that I have received no such indication, and I first learned of this matter when the hon. Lady beetled up to the Chair to notify me of her intention to raise a point of order. It is obviously a significant matter, which the Leader of the House will have heard. I suggest that the hon. Lady might wish to pursue it with Ministers in expectation of some sort of statement or response.

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. It has come to my attention that the right hon. Member for Islington North (Jeremy Corbyn) has knowingly allowed staff members to access the parliamentary estate without the correct security clearances or passes. Our police and security services work hard to keep us safe in here. Facilitating a breach of the House’s security procedures should be deeply concerning to everyone who works in this Palace. Will you please confirm, Mr Speaker, whether you have grounds for taking disciplinary action against the right hon. Gentleman and indicate any further action that you are considering to maintain security?

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his point of order, and I assume that he notified the Leader of the Opposition of it in advance. My very clear understanding is that the matter has been resolved. I know that most Members would not expect me to discuss an individual case on the Floor of the House, but I am satisfied that the issue has been resolved.

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. I am terribly sorry that I was not here for the beginning of business questions, when I gather that the Leader of the House referred to me in quite pleasant terms, which is very kind of her.

The Mother of the House referred earlier to yesterday’s events regarding the hon. Member for North East Somerset (Mr Rees-Mogg) and his family. Against that background, where all too often politics is seen to be rough and tumble, aggressive and nasty, I wonder whether we could introduce a formal process of occasionally thanking Members on the opposite side of the House. I would then want to thank the Leader of the House for her help in getting my Bill on the statute book. I would also like to pay tribute to the person who did far more work than me on that—my hon. Friend the Member for Halifax (Holly Lynch). She started the process and took it a great deal of the way. If we had more opportunities to show cross-party support for and appreciation of one another, we might end up being a better Parliament.

It is possible that that would result. It may also be in the hon. Gentleman’s mind in making that perfectly reasonable suggestion that if there were such a regular opportunity, it would give him the chance to show what a thoroughly agreeable fellow he can be. [Interruption.] I think we will leave it there for today. I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his characteristic ingenuity and to colleagues for their points of order.