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Points of Order

Volume 684: debated on Wednesday 18 November 2020

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. I seek your guidance and clarification. In response to my earlier point, the Housing, Communities and Local Government Secretary suggested that it did not take his Department four months to respond to me and confirm that the stronger towns fund would be subject to the Barnettisation process. I actually have in my hand the letter from the Department in June responding to my letter in February and apologising for the delay in doing so. Is it appropriate for me to place a copy of this in the Library, and would it be appropriate in this circumstance for the Secretary of State to come to the Dispatch Box and apologise for inadvertently misleading the House?

Further to that point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. I would be delighted to respond to that point of order. The point that I was making was that the hon. Gentleman had implied that after he had raised it at our last questions session, it had taken four months to reply. As he can see, my private office—as soon as alerted to it by the hon. Gentleman at questions—responded immediately, so he was actually speaking in error himself.

The point of order is clearly not a point of order for me, but an exchange—a further exchange—between the hon. Gentleman and the right hon. Gentleman. It has been satisfied, as far as I am concerned, in procedural terms. Whether it has been satisfied in political terms is not a matter for the Chair.

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. During the general election campaign, the Conservative party candidate for Weaver Vale shared an image on social media that referred to the significant investment going to Runcorn old town; it came from Conservative party headquarters. I would just like to clarify—and to ask for advice about how I do clarify—whether a mistake of geography actually benefited my good colleague, my hon. Friend the Member for Halton (Derek Twigg)—it is actually in the constituency adjacent to mine.

I thank the hon. Gentleman for raising a point of order. As I have just said in reply to the previous point of order, what is said by hon. Members and the veracity of it or otherwise is not a matter for the Chair. What is said in election literature by candidates who do not subsequently become Members of Parliament is definitely not a matter for the Chair, which is a matter of some relief for any occupant of the Chair. The hon. Gentleman asks me how he can draw his point to a wider audience. I think he has just done so.

No, the hon. Lady just wants to leave the Chamber. In order to facilitate the exit of the hon. Lady and all other Members and the safe entrance of those who wish to participate in the next item of business, I will suspend the House for three minutes.

Sitting suspended.