On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. You may be aware that yesterday the BBC "Today" programme put into the public domain a letter from the chief executive of the south east region of the NHS indicating that the NHS would overspend in that region by some £60 million this year. That figure was accepted on the programme by the Secretary of State.
In a reply dated
Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. I was the hon. Member who tabled the question that received the answer to which my hon. Friend Dr. Fox has referred. Can you investigate the discrepancies, which clearly led to incorrect information being given to me? That has added insult to injury. It took the Department of Health some six weeks to give me any sort of reply to a question that I had tabled back in November, and I have discovered that my own health authority, Buckinghamshire, was predicting a deficit on publicly available material in November and December last year that was significantly larger than the deficit for Buckinghamshire that the Minister gave me in the answer received on
It seems that I had to wait a very long time for an answer for my constituents and received inaccurate information from the Department. I hope that Members can get a better service in future.
I am governed by the rules of the House, and I am not responsible for the content of answers. The hon. Members for Woodspring (Dr. Fox) and for Aylesbury (Mr. Lidington) can seek further clarification through parliamentary questions, by correspondence or indeed by asking for a meeting with the Minister, but I repeat that it is not a matter for me.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. On two occasions yesterday, the Secretary of State for Health made comments that were grossly insulting to hon. Members from Wales and indeed to the people of Wales. Will you take the opportunity to point out to the Secretary of State that he has responsibility in a range of areas for issues covering Wales, not least one of the issues about which he was asked yesterday? Will you also point out that comments such as
"I do not do Wales . . . However, I occasionally like to do people from Wales"—[Hansard, 22 January 2002; Vol. 378, c. 770.]
"to do people from Wales" meant. Is it sexual innuendo, or are we being invited to step outside the Chamber? It should be pointed out to the Secretary of State that such comments are way below the standard that we expect from Cabinet Ministers.