Points of Order

– in the House of Commons at 3:32 pm on 3rd November 2008.

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Photo of Jeremy Corbyn Jeremy Corbyn Labour, Islington North 3:32 pm, 3rd November 2008

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. You will be aware that during last Thursday's business questions a number of hon. Members, myself included, raised the issue of the horror that is going on in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. I understand that the Foreign Secretary is returning from his welcome visit there. Is there anything that we can do to ensure that he makes a statement, if possible, tomorrow, on whatever support can be given to meet the humanitarian needs of the people of the eastern DRC during this crisis?

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R

The Congo is a basket case MR Corbyn .NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS COUNTRY, Your corrupt government has already given away £5 million to this lot ,money that is desparately needed by the aged and poor of this country ,which is in depression caused in part by your governments spendthrift habits. I hope that MR Milliband and his lackys...

Submitted by Robert Horner 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

I say to the hon. Gentleman that that is not a matter for the Chair. It is up to Ministers to decide whether or not they make a statement, but I am sure that his concerns are on the record.

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Photo of Paul Flynn Paul Flynn Labour, Newport West

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. May I ask you, as the defender of the rights of Back Benchers, to examine answers to parliamentary questions? We are well used to the fact that in answers to written questions we do not always receive 100 per cent. of the information requested. The attraction of oral questions, and their great advantage, is that we can be critical of the answers that we receive, particularly when they contain certain omissions. May I therefore ask you to examine the replies given to the questions put by my hon. Friend Andrew Mackinlay and me this afternoon? We sought factual advice on a matter of the gravest importance, but the responses that came from the Front Bench team did not answer our questions. I do not know what description one could apply to those answers, except to say that they were evasive. I had to withdraw my remark, but are we to believe that the word "evasive" is now unparliamentary language?

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R

This is a really good one . An MP complaining that other MP`s don`t tell the whole truth !!!! Welcome to the real world Mr Flynn this is how MP`s have been treating the public for years .

Submitted by Robert Horner

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

Unparliamentary language is a bit strong; I am saying that the hon. Gentleman should not direct that term at Ministers, as he knows. What was the term that Andrew Mackinlay used? Did he say "confused"?

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Photo of Andrew MacKinlay Andrew MacKinlay Labour, Thurrock

Bewildered—seriously bewildered.

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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

If the hon. Gentleman said that the Minister was bewildered, I would go for that one. For me to examine Ministers' answers, be they written or oral, would be to add too much to the job description of the Speaker. As a trade unionist, hon. Members would not want me to get any more work than I am doing at the moment, but that is what Paul Flynn is telling me to do.

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Photo of Keith Vaz Keith Vaz Chair, Home Affairs Committee, Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee, Chair, Home Affairs Committee

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, I and several other Members received letters inviting us to join the cross-party group on balanced migration, but when I applied, I was told by the secretary that I was not allowed to join and that only Back-Bench Members, not including Select Committee Chairmen, could be members of all-party groups. Is that the case? My understanding is that as long as a Member is not a Government member, including a Whip, they cannot be restricted from joining all-party groups.

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R

Balanced migration ???? How hypocritical after 10 years your party are seeing the folly in your migration policy and are trying to backtrack and cover your tracks . Even Trevor Philips has warned you idiots that your heading for a race war

Submitted by Robert Horner

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

It is up to the groups to sort out such matters and to decide whether they wish the right hon. Gentleman to be a member, so I shall not interfere in the matter. Rules have been laid down on the number of Members in an all-party group and on whether there should be a balance of officers, which clearly there should.

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