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Points of Order

Volume 712: debated on Wednesday 20 April 2022

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. On the Conservative Benches, we strongly believe in the BBC and we believe it does a great job, especially on reporting from Ukraine. The suggestion from the Leader of the Opposition that the Prime Minister suggested somewhat different in last night’s meeting, which I attended, is absolutely inaccurate. The Leader of the Opposition should retract that, because he has misled the House.

I was not there, so it would be impossible for me to comment on something I do not know. [Interruption.] Yes, but I think it is more for my judgment, and I do not know, but I will certainly look into the matter.

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. I know that all of us in this House are fair game to the media, and that all of us enjoy many of the political commentators and sketch writers, but this morning’s edition of The Times carried a Quentin Letts article that I believe was sexist, misogynist and totally unacceptable. The way he described my hon. Friend the Member for West Ham (Ms Brown) was not about what she said; it was about everything but the substance of any speech. It was cruel and it was disgraceful. I do not know what we can do about it, but Quentin Letts specialises in a misogynist approach, especially towards women in the Chamber. Is it time we withdrew his parliamentary press pass?

No, in a nutshell. You have quite rightfully raised the matter; it is not a point of order for the Chair, but you have certainly put it on the record.

It is important that we have tolerance and moderate language, but in fairness we need freedom of the press. I have taken the hits sometimes as well, as you yourself have. What I would say is that there is a level, and we all judge that level. You have judged this to go beyond it, and I accept that that is why you have put the matter on the record. I think, for that purpose, we will leave it there.

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. You will be aware of the incident with my hon. Friend the Member for Harrow East (Bob Blackman), when he was driving through—

Order. May I just say that I am well aware of it? I have had a discussion and I am having a meeting later, but I will certainly not raise on the Floor of the House the issue of security at the moment. I would sooner have that meeting first; if we are not satisfied then, I will come back by all means, but there is some information that I do not want to come—[Interruption.] I would sooner leave the security issue, because it was a worry and it is a problem. I would sooner not air it here until I have met the three Members concerned—there is more than one.

If it is possible, Mr Speaker, will you look at having a police officer outside the gate, not just inside it, as people drive in?

Once again, I do not want to be brought into a security issue. I think it is better that we leave it there, but please come and see me privately and we can certainly have a discussion.