On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. The treatment of autistic people and people with learning disabilities in assessment and treatment units is nothing short of a national scandal. Seven years after the Winterbourne View scandal, the Government still have not got rid of these units or substantially cut their use. Now we get, with no notice, the whole issue rolled into another oral statement on public health. The shameful treatment of 2,300 people in Bedlam-like conditions is too important to be dealt with in this way. Can you advise on how to get the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to take this issue more seriously in the way that he communicates to the House?
Further to that point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. I have come to the House at the first available opportunity to explain very clearly, and with some force, I hope, how strongly I feel about people with learning difficulties and autism being held in seclusion units. It is unacceptable morally and unacceptable medically. It has to stop, and it is going to stop.
Further to that point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. What I was complaining about was that this was done with no notice—no notice to the shadow Secretary of State, no notice to me or the team, and no notice to Members of this House who were not here to ask questions. We should have had notice that this important issue was being dealt with.
I thank the hon. Lady and the Secretary of State for their points of order. Obviously, the Secretary of State will have heard the point that the hon. Lady has made. I am sure that she will wish to pursue this further. The Secretary of State and the Leader of the House are here on the Treasury Bench, so I am sure that if there is further information forthcoming, that will be the way to proceed.
On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. I seek your guidance as I am a relatively new Member of this House. It came to my attention on Friday that the hon. Member for Perth and North Perthshire (Pete Wishart) was visiting my constituency at the weekend. I did not receive advance notice of his visit. I understand that the purpose of the visit was to hold a rally to do a number of things, but particularly to try to get rid of the Scottish Conservatives. Reassuringly, only a handful of people attended the event. I have given the hon. Gentleman notice of this point of order. Am I correct in thinking that it was appropriate for him to give me advance notice of visiting my constituency?
I thank the hon. Gentleman for giving me notice that he wished to raise this matter. I am glad that he has confirmed that he also warned the hon. Member for Perth and North Perthshire (Pete Wishart) that he was going to raise the point of order. The hon. Gentleman is quite right to say that there is a well-established convention that if Members plan to visit other Members’ constituencies for political—not for personal—reasons, they should give them advance notice. It is important that we maintain this courtesy to one another.
School Uniforms Bill
Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)
Frank Field, supported by Tim Loughton, presented a Bill to require school governing bodies to implement affordability policies when setting school uniform requirements; and for connected purposes.
Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 23 November and to be printed (Bill 283).