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Points of Order

Volume 670: debated on Wednesday 22 January 2020

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. This morning, Jaguar Land Rover announced the loss of 500 jobs—accounting for more than 10% of the total—at the Halewood plant in my constituency as it moves from a three to a two-shift system. Given the ongoing uncertainty about Brexit and the UK’s trading relationship with the EU, worse may be to come, so can you, Mr Speaker, advise me about how I can ensure that Ministers and the Prime Minister himself take this existential threat to the auto manufacturing industry in Liverpool as seriously as they should, and seek to help those losing their jobs as much as they can?

This has rightly been raised on the Floor of the House, and I would expect those on the Treasury Bench to have quickly made a note and I am sure this will be brought to the Prime Minister’s attention. This will have a serious impact on the north-west and I recognise how important those jobs are. That is now on the record and I hope others will follow up on it.

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Those of us who campaigned in the previous Parliament for a review of the law on assisted dying were informed informally by the Government that an inquiry might take place. In advance of my Westminster Hall debate on this subject tomorrow, may I have some guidance on which Department and which Minister in the new Government we could follow this up with?

I am sure that that will be taken on board as well. I recognise that there has been real frustration around this and I know that the hon. Lady will, through her good offices, seek help from the Table Office too. I think that would be a good way forward.

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. I seek your guidance on how I might use the procedures of this House to resolve a case with the Home Office. This morning, my office received a call from UK Visas and Immigration regarding a visitor visa application. Listed in the application is the daughter of the applicant, a constituent of mine who has the later stages of motor neurone disease. UK Visas and Immigration is refusing to deal with my office regarding the case unless we can produce a signed mandate from the applicant, who is currently in China. My office has never been asked to do this before and this in essence means that everything is being delayed and we are wasting time for a constituent who does not have long left. Can you, Mr Speaker, advise on how we can cut through the red tape in the Home Office and perhaps have a more compassionate approach to dealing with my constituent?

I thank the hon. Gentleman for giving me notice of this point of order. It is not an issue for the Chair, but I recognise his frustration and he obviously quite rightly wants to take up his constituent’s case and the issue of the child visa. I am sure that people will be listening to this and I hope his concern is now being heard by Ministers and will be acted on.

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Do you remember that, when we were first elected, we were not allowed to read our questions? Is there not at least a possibility that were Members required to remember their questions, at least some of them would not bang on for so long, and all our time could be used more effectively?

When the right hon. Gentleman and I came in together in 1997, it was frowned upon to read a question; people had to do the question without help and assistance. We have a new Parliament with a lot of new Members learning the ropes, but hopefully people will get into the habit rather quickly of asking a question without aid.

Further to that point of order, Mr Speaker. I hate to bang on, but it is the older ones who are the worst.

And there is your proof: just because somebody reads their question, that does not stop us taking a lot more time.