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Points of Order

Volume 707: debated on Thursday 20 January 2022

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. The Prime Minister persistently tells the country, through the House, that 420,000 more people are at work than pre-pandemic, but the Office for National Statistics shows that 506,000 fewer people are at work—the Prime Minister excludes the self-employed. Will you and Mr Speaker ensure that the Prime Minister uses accurate figures, to ensure that there is trust in the Government and that we realise that there are half a million fewer people at work, rather than 420,000 more?

I thank the hon. Member for his point of order. I am sure he will realise that the content of answers to parliamentary questions is not a matter for the Chair, but he has obviously put on the record his concerns, which I am sure will have been noted by those on the Front Benches.

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. The Leader of the House, in answering the hon. Member for Bury North (James Daly) on the Greater Manchester clean air zone, may have inadvertently misled the House; he is certainly unaware of the facts. It is a ministerial direction, the Environment Act 1995 (Greater Manchester) Air Quality Direction 2019, that imposes a category C clean air zone on Greater Manchester. Further, section 8 states:

“The authorities must not vary, revoke or suspend…without the prior written consent of the Secretary of State.”

Last week, I asked the Leader of the House to urge his colleagues to do just that and revoke the direction. His response was that the Mayor should just get on with it. How can we correct the inconsistency in the Leader of the House’s answers to myself and to the hon. Member for Bury North and get on the record that this is a Government instruction?

I thank the hon. Gentleman for his point of order. He seems to have managed two bites at the cherry, including in business questions. Again, I have to say that that is not a point of order for the Chair, but the Member has put his concerns on the record, and I am sure the Leader of the House and those on the Government Front Bench will have heard what he had to say.