Points of Order

– in the House of Commons at 10:34 am on 19th October 2001.

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Photo of Greg Knight Greg Knight Conservative, East Yorkshire 10:34 am, 19th October 2001

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Have you had any information as to whether the Government intend to come to the House today to make a statement about the staggering job losses announced at Rolls-Royce? It appears that some 3,800 people in the United Kingdom are to be thrown on to the dole queue. Surely a Minister should come to the House today to make a statement about that matter.

Photo of Michael Martin Michael Martin Speaker of the House of Commons

I regret any job losses in any constituency. I have an affinity with Rolls-Royce. I once worked there and enjoyed the many years that I was employed there. I have received no information, but I am sure that information will come some time next week.

Photo of David Cameron David Cameron Conservative, Witney

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Has the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs asked to make a statement to the House this morning over the shambles of the four-year tests on sheep's brains that turned out to be cow's brains? As the defender of our rights, can you look into the fact that, although there were questions to her Department yesterday, that very important information was announced on its website at 10.30 pm?

Yesterday, the Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said that there was a danger of contamination of the sample through bovine material. Instead of bovine answers such as that, should we not have a proper statement to the House about something that has gone very wrong? Whatever the respective merits of cow's brains and sheep's brains, clearly they are both bigger than Ministers' brains.

Photo of Michael Martin Michael Martin Speaker of the House of Commons

The hon. Gentleman and his Front-Bench colleagues can call for statements. I am sure that his concerns will be put on the record.

Photo of Mark Francois Mark Francois Conservative, Rayleigh

Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. Are you at all concerned by the fact that more than £200,000 of public money has been wasted over four years, and that that information was not even put out through a written parliamentary answer, but effectively buried on a website? Is that not an injustice to you and to the House?

Photo of Michael Martin Michael Martin Speaker of the House of Commons

The hon. Gentleman is seeking to draw the Chair into the argument. It is not a matter for the Chair.