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Point of Order

Volume 744: debated on Wednesday 24 January 2024

On a point of order, Sir Roger. An organisation in my constituency where I had grounds to intervene on behalf of a previous pub tenant has issued its current tenant with a gagging order and verbally told them not to contact their MP. What can be done to protect my constituents from such bullying and to ensure that their constitutional rights are respected?

First, I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for giving notice of his point of order. The ability of constituents to communicate with their Members of Parliament is constitutionally important. I am very concerned about the matter he has raised. Constituents must be able to communicate freely with their Members of Parliament, and I trust and hope that urgent action will be taken to clarify that that is understood by all parties in this case. If the matter is not resolved satisfactorily, I trust that the right hon. Gentleman will seek advice from the Clerk of the Journals in the first instance about how this very important issue might be escalated.

Bills Presented

Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill

Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris, supported by the Prime Minister, Secretary Oliver Dowden, Secretary Michael Gove, Secretary Alister Jack, Secretary David T C Davies and Mr Steve Baker, presented a Bill to make provision to extend the period following the Northern Ireland Assembly election of 5 May 2022 during which Ministers may be appointed.

Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time today, and to be printed (Bill 150), with explanatory notes (Bill 150—EN).

I advise the House that this is a very narrow Bill. If the House agrees the business of the House motion today, amendments may be tabled before the Bill has been read a Second time. I understand that the Chairman of Ways and Means has indicated that she will make her provisional selection of amendments soon after 2 pm. Members who are considering tabling amendments are asked to contact the Public Bill Office as soon as possible.

Whistleblowing Bill

Mary Robinson presented a Bill to establish an independent Office of the Whistleblower to protect whistleblowers and whistleblowing in accordance with the public interest; to make provision for the Office of the Whistleblower to set, monitor and enforce standards for the management of whistleblowing cases, to provide disclosure and advice services, to direct whistleblowing investigations and to order redress of detriment suffered by whistleblowers; to create offences relating to the treatment of whistleblowers and the handling of whistleblowing cases; to repeal the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998; and for connected purposes.

Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 2 February, and to be printed (Bill 151).