Deferred Division

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:00 pm on 24th July 2002.

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Photo of Eric Forth Eric Forth Conservative, Bromley and Chislehurst 7:00 pm, 24th July 2002

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I am sure that you can confirm that the deferred Division whose result you have just announced, whereby the Question was negatived by a very large majority, was on a Question that referred to business conducted on Monday 22 July; therefore, we were voting today on the nature of the business that took place two days ago. I think that that is an accurate account. Is that not the ultimate absurdity and does it not bring the House into disrepute?

Is it not also the case that, although the motion was in the name of the Leader of the House, it was negatived, I am told, at the behest of the Government Whips? Has not the Leader of the House been undermined by his own Whips for the second time in only a few weeks or months, and do we not therefore face a crisis in the House of Commons? The Leader of the House is being systematically undermined by his Whips and his parliamentary colleagues.

Mr. Deputy Speaker, the more important question is, can you now refer the matter of deferred Divisions to the Procedure Committee? Surely you, as a staunch defender of the House, its procedures and its rights, cannot accept either the position in which we find ourselves—that of voting today on a matter that was dealt with two days ago—or that the Leader of the House has been put in a position of such embarrassment. This situation must be of as much concern to you as it is to my colleagues and me, and I hope that you can assure us that something will be done about it.