Skip to main content

Point of Order

Volume 682: debated on Thursday 22 October 2020

On a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. I have received very poor responses from Ministers in recent weeks. I asked about the withdrawal of Randox covid-19 tests; the responses did not answer the question. I asked about stocks of flu vaccine; I have heard nothing. I asked about customs agents at our ports; the answer was derisory—just six words. We are trying to do our job and hold the Executive to account, but this Parliament is being short-changed. Anybody would think the Government were trying to block scrutiny and hide their poor performance. Mr Deputy Speaker, will you please advise me whether it is the Leader of the House who is best placed to help me seek straightforward answers from his Cabinet colleagues to reasonable questions from Members of this House?

I thank the hon. Member for giving me advance notice of his point of order. Mr Speaker has repeatedly called for Departments to give higher priority to prompt and substantive answers to parliamentary questions at this time, when accountability is of great importance. The hon. Member is right about the role of the Leader of the House, to whom he can make his own representations, but I do hope that those on the Treasury Bench will have heard his point of order and will get that message across to the Leader of the House, and to all Government Ministers and Departments.

Bill presented

Marriage (Authorised Belief Organisations)

Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

Rehman Chishti, supported by Crispin Blunt, Ms Angela Eagle, Steve McCabe, Jeff Smith, Rachel Hopkins, Wera Hobhouse and Daisy Cooper presented a Bill to amend the law on marriage to permit authorised belief organisations to solemnise marriages; and for connected purposes.

Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 15 January 2021, and to be printed (Bill 203).

We are now going to suspend for a few minutes in order for the Dispatch Boxes to be sanitised, and for the safe departure and arrival of various key players.

Sitting suspended.