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Points of Order

– in the House of Commons at 3:33 pm on 5th February 2008.

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Photo of Theresa Villiers Theresa Villiers Shadow Secretary of State for Transport 3:33 pm, 5th February 2008

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. This morning's "Today" programme carried reports that BBC's "File on Four" programme would broadcast details of an unpublished report by rail inspectors that reveals some very serious shortcomings in the safety inspection regime at Network Rail. The Railways Minister is in his place, and I should be very grateful if he would assure the House that hon. Members will be able to see a copy of that report at the earliest possible instance.

Photo of Tom Harris Tom Harris Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I am grateful to the hon. Lady for giving me warning of her point of order. The railway inspectorate is an independent organisation. It is part of the Office of Rail Regulation and it has produced the report that was referred to in this morning's "Today" programme. It has not published that report: I can assure her that the Department for Transport does not have a copy, and it is entirely up to the ORR to decide whether or not to release it. However, as far as the safety regime is concerned, she will know that the rail accident investigation branch is continuing its investigation into last year's accident at Grayrigg. The full conclusions of that organisation's report will be made available to the House.

Photo of Phyllis Starkey Phyllis Starkey Labour, Milton Keynes South West

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Yesterday, the Opposition Front-Bench spokesperson, Michael Gove, used the privilege of the House to repeat allegations that the charity Interpal was linked to Hamas, despite the fact that the Charity Commission has twice found those allegations to be unfounded. The charity is well run and there is no evidence of any pro-terrorist bias. Is it in order for—

Photo of Michael Martin Michael Martin Chair, Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, Speaker of the House of Commons, Chair, Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission

Order. The hon. Lady is using a point of order to debate a matter. That is not a proper use of the point of order system.

Photo of Julian Lewis Julian Lewis Shadow Minister (Defence)

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. As has been widely reported, my constituent, Simon Mann, has disappeared from Zimbabwe and, allegedly, has illegally been handed over to the vicious and repressive regime in Equatorial Guinea. Has any Foreign Office Minister given you any indication that he will come to the House and make a statement and, in particular, that he will call in the ambassadors of those two countries about that blatant abuse—

T

My full support for your efforts about Simon Mann.Keep up the good work! Is there any lobby group/ body like Amnesty International trying to help him or is the oil in Equatorial Guinea and British political ties with South Africa and Zimbabwe more important? Terence...

Submitted by Terence Pakenham-Walsh Continue reading

Photo of Michael Martin Michael Martin Chair, Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, Speaker of the House of Commons, Chair, Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission

Order. I am sorry for the difficulties— [ Interruption. ] Order. I am sorry for the severe difficulties faced by the hon. Gentleman's constituent, but I cannot be drawn into those matters.