Points of Order

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:51 pm on 11th February 1998.

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Photo of Andrew MacKinlay Andrew MacKinlay Labour, Thurrock 3:51 pm, 11th February 1998

On a point of order, Madam Speaker. I am sorry to delay the House, but I have received three packages in the post, because the postal system apparently could not find any person to whom they could be appropriately delivered. On one package it says, "Not Clerks Department" and on another it says, "Try A. Mackinlay", although I do not know why it was decided that I should receive them.

Those packages are addressed to "The Treasurer, The European Research Group, House of Commons, London SW1." They are important for two reasons. First, and probably of least importance, that group is not a registered all-party group. I would not detain the House merely to make that point and I would just pass those packages to your office, Madam Speaker, but they contain 100 cheques and a Midland bank paying-in book for an account in the name of "The Danish Referendum Campaign Account."

The second, more serious point is that someone is running a fund-raising exercise from the House for that group, which could bring the House into disrepute. It means that those who cannot command a majority in the House to scupper the Amsterdam treaty are trying to use the Danish people as a surrogate to do so. That should not happen through the offices of the House.

I shall pass the packages to your office, Madam Speaker, because I genuinely do not know to whom they belong; nor does the postal system or the Clerks Department. It is wrong that such fund raising should be conducted from the House; the fact that it coincides with our presidency of the European Union is acutely embarrassing to the United Kingdom. I hope that the Danish people will note that there are people in the United Kingdom who want to use them to scupper the Amsterdam treaty.