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Point of Order

Volume 731: debated on Thursday 27 April 2023

On a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. I have asked the Speaker’s Office for clarity on this matter, which relates to the voter ID and electoral fraud question this morning. When nominations closed for the Northern Ireland local government elections, I became aware that a man listed as one of the proposers of Gerard Magee in Ballyclare was the victim of identity fraud by Sinn Féin. The victim met the chief executive officer of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, and established that his identity had been stolen; he was fraudulently listed as a proposer on the nomination papers of Sinn Féin’s Gerard Magee, and this purportedly included the act of forging the victim’s signature on official nomination papers. For clarity, the victim does not know Gerard Magee and did not sign his nomination papers. The problem occurs because this matter cannot be investigated until the election is over. Can you advise me on how best I can stand up for democracy in this case in advance of polling day?

I thank the hon. Gentleman for informing the Chair that he wished to raise this matter as a point of order but, as he is fully aware, it is not in fact a matter for the Chair. More importantly, given that the actions he describes are potentially criminal, it would be inappropriate for me or anybody else in the Chair to seek to pre-empt or interfere with what might become a judicial inquiry. I am afraid I cannot help the hon. Gentleman further.

Bill Presented

Northern Ireland (Interim Arrangements) Bill

Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris, supported by the Prime Minister, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Secretary Michael Gove, Secretary Alister Jack, Secretary David T. C. Davies, John Glen, and Mr Steve Baker, presented a Bill to extend the period during which departmental functions may be exercised in the absence of Ministers to cover the whole of the current period in which there is no Executive; to give the Secretary of State power, during that period, to commission advice and information for the purpose of developing options for raising more public revenue in Northern Ireland or otherwise improving the sustainability of public finances in Northern Ireland; and to require certain accounts and related documents to be laid before the House of Commons in periods in which the Northern Ireland Assembly is not functioning.

Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Tuesday 2 May, and to be printed (Bill 300).