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Point of Order

Volume 659: debated on Wednesday 8 May 2019

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. During last week’s Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy questions, the Minister for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, the hon. Member for Kingswood (Chris Skidmore) told me in reply to a question about solar that the UK had installed

“more than twice as much solar capacity as any other European country—more than Germany, France and Australia combined.”—[Official Report, 30 April 2019; Vol. 659, c. 105.]

Even if he meant Austria, rather than Australia, he is wrong either way. Germany alone has 46 GW of solar; the UK has only 13 GW. Germany, France and Austria together have four times the UK capacity at 56 GW, and Australia has 65 GW, which is five times the UK capacity. It seems that the joint Minister of State has failed on both Energy and Education. Mr Speaker, can I get your advice on how to bring the Minister back to the House to correct the record on this matter?

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his point of order. The answer to him is that responsibility for the veracity of statements made in this Chamber lies with each individual hon. and right hon. Member. The question of whether an error has been made that has caused the House to be misled is a matter not for adjudication by the Chair but for the judgment of individual colleagues. I feel sure that the contents of the hon. Gentleman’s point of order will shortly be winging their way to the Minister, and if he judges that he has made a mistake, I feel sure that he will consider himself honour bound to correct the record. There are a number of ways in which he can do that. He could return to the Chamber specifically to attend to the hon. Gentleman’s point, but I would not wish to encourage the hon. Gentleman to hold his breath. We will leave it there, and I hope that the hon. Gentleman feels that he has found his own salvation. The smiling countenance that he now shows to the House suggests that that is so.

Bill Presented

Parliamentary Buildings (Restoration and Renewal) Bill

Andrea Leadsom, supported by the Prime Minister, David Lidington, Secretary James Brokenshire, Secretary Jeremy Wright, Secretary Chris Grayling, Secretary Rory Stewart, Elizabeth Truss, Kevin Foster, Michael Ellis, Sir Patrick McLoughlin and Valerie Vaz presented a Bill to make provision in connection with works for or in connection with the restoration of the Palace of Westminster and other works relating to the Parliamentary Estate; and for connected purposes.

Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time tomorrow, and to be printed (Bill 388) with explanatory notes (Bill 388-EN).

We come now to the ten-minute rule Bill, and the House will have noted the display of sisterly solidarity as I call Angela Eagle to move the motion.