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Point of Order

Volume 664: debated on Wednesday 4 September 2019

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. I am sure that you, like so many people across the country, will have been moved by the sight of my hon. Friend the Member for Slough (Mr Dhesi) asking such a rousing question at Prime Minister’s questions this afternoon. However, many of us felt that the answer was woefully inadequate, and the question was on such a serious matter that there was a danger that an unhelpful impression was being given to the public. I wonder whether you could advise me on what further steps I can suggest that my colleague take in order to get his question—a serious question on the matter of racism in this country—properly dealt with.

I am not sure that my counsel is of particular value in this matter, although I am touched by the hon. Lady’s faith in my capacity to assist the hon. Member for Slough (Mr Dhesi) in his quest. What I would say is twofold. First, if the hon. Gentleman is disconcerted or irked by the answer that he received, it is open to him to table further questions in pursuit of satisfaction. Secondly, if the hon. Gentleman wishes to pursue the matter further beyond merely simple question and answer, it is open to him to seek an Adjournment debate on the matter, which could potentially attract the interest of other colleagues on both sides of the House. My immediate response is that those two devices may usefully meet the needs of the case. I am obliged to the hon. Lady for raising the matter, demonstrating not only her commitment to the issue, but her altruism on behalf of colleagues.

Bill Presented

European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 6) Bill

Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

Hilary Benn, supported by Alistair Burt, Mr Philip Hammond, Mr David Gauke, Tom Brake, Stephen Gethins, Jonathan Edwards, Joan Ryan, Caroline Lucas, Chris Bryant, Stephen Doughty and Nick Boles, presented a Bill to make further provision in connection with the period for negotiations for withdrawing from the European Union.

Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time today, and to be printed (Bill 433).