With your permission, Mr. Speaker, I should like to make a personal statement.
I understand that there has been criticism of remarks which I made in a television interview with Mr. Robin Day after the Blunt debate on Wednesday night.
I tried, for greater accuracy, to secure a transcript of what I said, but the BBC advised me that it did not have one.
I wish to make it clear that it was never my intention to suggest that any hon. Member was guilty of any illegal action, such as treason or espionage.
Nevertheless, I quite understand that some of the words I used have had the effect of reflecting on the honour of the House and of individual Members. For that reason I am very glad to withdraw them, and I do so without hesitation.