Skip to main content

Point of Order

Volume 615: debated on Monday 10 October 2016

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Last Thursday on “Question Time”, in an exchange with Leanne Wood, the leader of Plaid Cymru, the Secretary of State for Wales said, first, that

“when there’s… migration into Welsh-speaking communities…your members have taken direct action in the past”;

secondly, that there are

“communities in Wales where there are nationalist activists who take direct action against people who come in”;

and thirdly:

“It wasn’t so long ago that some of the cottages were being burned down”.

Despite many requests to the Secretary of State, he has failed to provide any evidence for this. Neither has he withdrawn his accusations or apologised.

People throughout Wales are outraged at these slurs on their communities, but for us today the Secretary of State’s accusations relate to Plaid Cymru Members. I am a Plaid Cymru Member. Is he accusing me? Or is he accusing my hon. Friend the Member for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr (Jonathan Edwards) or my hon. Friend the Member for Dwyfor Meirionnydd (Liz Saville Roberts), English by birth and bought up in Eltham in London? Bizarrely, he might even be accusing his own Under-Secretary of State, the hon. Member for Aberconwy (Guto Bebb), who previously was a prominent and vocal member of Plaid Cymru. Mr Speaker, what action can be taken in respect of those who, outside this Chamber, baselessly bring Members of this House into disrepute?

I thank the hon. Gentleman for notice of his point of order. However, the “Question Time” to which he refers is on the BBC, not in the House of Commons. While my responsibility extends to the latter, it does not do so in respect of the former, as I dare say he knows very well. None the less, his views are on the record. I do not treat what he has said in any way with levity or disinterest, but as a matter of fact it does not fall within the remit of the Chair to handle. We shall have to leave it there for now. I thank the hon. Gentleman for registering his views on the record.