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Point of Order

Volume 745: debated on Tuesday 6 February 2024

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Last week, we saw the lid lifted off the secret empire of Tory Tees Valley Mayor Lord Houchen, and the 28 recommendations for improvement in the way he does business covered everything from poor decision-making and a failure to provide his board with proper information, to a lack of transparency and value for taxpayers’ money. Yesterday, we learned that he had squandered several million pounds of that money in losing a needless legal action against PD Ports about access rights.

In the past, the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has refused to call in the National Audit Office to examine how the Mayor did business, opting instead for his own independent inquiry. Given this latest revelation, can you advise me, Mr Speaker, on how we can get the Levelling Up Secretary to make a statement from the Dispatch Box about the latest scandal, so that we can persuade him of the need to get the NAO in there to look at that colossal waste of public money and report his findings to Parliament?

I am grateful to the hon. Member for giving notice of his point of order. I can assure him that I have had no indication that Ministers intend to come to the House to make a statement on that matter, but I am sure that the Table Office will be able to help and advise him on how to pursue it, so I know that he will not give up yet.

Bills Presented

Support for Infants and Parents etc (Information) Bill

Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

Sally-Ann Hart presented a Bill to make provision for and in connection with the making available of information about support available for infants, parents and carers of infants, and prospective parents and carers, including reporting requirements relating to such support.

Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 15 March, and to be printed (Bill 160).

Ministerial Severance (Reform) Bill

Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

Emily Thornberry presented a Bill to amend the Ministerial and other Pensions and Salaries Act 1991 in relation to grants to persons ceasing to hold ministerial and other offices; and for connected purposes.

Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Tuesday 27 February, and to be printed (Bill 162).