Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Points of Order

– in the House of Commons at 3:31 pm on 12th May 2009.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of John Mann John Mann Labour, Bassetlaw 3:31 pm, 12th May 2009

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. It is stated on page 370 of the 22nd edition of "Erskine May" that

"parliamentary government requires the majority to abide by a decision regularly come to, however unexpected", and page 368 says:

"Technically...the rescinding of a vote is a new question, the form being to read the resolution of the House and to move that it be rescinded".

On 3 July 2008, amendment (f), which I proposed, was agreed unanimously and without dissent by the House. It removed the ability of Members of the House to designate separate homes as main homes for capital gains tax purposes as opposed to main homes for expenses. It would appear that the House of Commons Commission has not applied that resolution, but, under the House of Commons (Administration) Act 1978, the Commission does not have the power in any way to overturn a decision of the House. I seek your guidance, Mr. Speaker, on when this resolution will be applied, or whether in fact it is being applied but that has not been stated.

Watch this
Embed this video

Copy and paste this code on your website

Hide

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

I thank the hon. Member for giving me notice of his point of order. I understand his concern. This matter has been considered by the Members Estimate Committee and will, no doubt, again be considered by the Committee. I will ensure that he gets a proper response.

May I also say to the hon. Gentleman that I am not saying that we did not fully understand the amendment, but if he can come to the Clerk of the House and give us an explanation of his interpretation of it, that will help the Members Estimate Committee. I hope that that is all right with the hon. Gentleman, and that he is prepared to do that.

Watch this

Photo of Bill Cash Bill Cash Conservative, Stone

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. In Health questions just now, I referred to Stafford hospital. In the light of what the Leader of the House said in reply to a question that I put on 30 April, I and other Members thought we could expect an oral statement—not merely a written statement—from the Secretary of State regarding the Stafford hospital situation, given the reports. In fact, I think it is true to say that the Secretary of State has certainly, during the course of the last 10 days, indicated to me that he thought he would be doing so. On Thursday last week, however, I received a letter from the Leader of the House and, without going into the detail, it says:

"Thursday's statement"— that is the written statement—

"represents the Government's response".

In other words, we are not getting an oral statement. I have to say that in the light of questions relating to whistleblowing and my own and others' determination to have a public inquiry under the Inquiries Act 2005, which would protect whistleblowers, we need to have a proper statement from the Secretary of State on these reports. Mr. Speaker, will you please protect the House and ensure that the Secretary of State comes to the House and gives an oral statement?

Watch this
R

The government is aware of Ward 87 North Staffordshire NHS Trust and all the concerns raised by myself in 1999. Had they listened, 2000 plus people would not be dead in Stafford. Ward 87 is the government's best kept secret. They have sought to undermine the whistleblower ie myself and their documents at the Department of Health show this is so. A full download can be found here http://ward87whistleblower.googlepages.com/home . The fact remains that in 1999 they were told that patients were dying. The government did not respond to that letter. It was publicly raised in the Evening Mail in 1999 and in 2000. The government ignored both. Now there are two reports CHI Report, 2001 Internal Report and 1999 Report all verifying that my concerns were upheld. As the evidence shows the reports to the GMC were never investigated. Instead the GMC commenced an...

Submitted by Rita Pal Continue reading

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

The hon. Gentleman will know that I am not in a position to bring the Secretary of State before the House, except when an urgent question is granted. What I would say, however, is that the hon. Gentleman's deep concern has been heard. It has been heard by the Health Ministers on the Treasury Bench. There is also nothing to stop the hon. Gentleman applying for an Adjournment debate, which would mean that a Health Minister—I am not sure whether it would be the Secretary of State—would certainly come before the House.

Watch this

Photo of Ben Bradshaw Ben Bradshaw Minister of State (Regional Affairs) (South West), The Minister of State, Department of Health

In response to the point of order, may I say that we had a debate on whistleblowing in Westminster Hall last week? It was initiated by Dr. Taylor and Mr. Cash did not bother to turn up.

Watch this

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

Order. I think that I have given the hon. Gentleman two pieces of advice, and perhaps he will consider the steer that I am giving him. I cannot do better than that.

Watch this
D

Again an example of the Speaker allowing the Government to get its point over yet refusing those accused by...

Submitted by David Clark Continue reading

Photo of David Winnick David Winnick Labour, Walsall North

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. At column 548 in yesterday's Hansard, you explained all the reasons why the Metropolitan police have been called in over the alleged stealing of a disc, which was probably sold to The Daily Telegraph. I have absolutely no disagreement with all the reasons that you gave, but, on reflection, I wonder whether it would be right for you to apologise to my hon. Friend Kate Hoey. When she raised a point of order, you referred to her "public utterances" and "pearls of wisdom". [ Interruption. ] May I put it to you, sir, that a Member of Parliament should be able to raise a point of order without there being such personal comments, which some of us at least—not all of us, apparently—consider inappropriate. Should not the Speaker always refrain from personal comments?

Watch this

Photo of David Winnick David Winnick Labour, Walsall North

I was in the Chamber throughout.

Watch this

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

Well, perhaps the hon. Gentleman could have raised a point of order then. That was the business of yesterday, and we have moved on from there.

Watch this

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

Order. If that is not adequate, the hon. Gentleman knows what he must do.

Watch this
D

The Speaker refuses to answer any criticism of him...

Submitted by David Clark Continue reading

Photo of Tom Levitt Tom Levitt Labour, High Peak

Further to the point of order raised by my hon. Friend John Mann, Mr. Speaker. Whatever the outcome of the discussions he has with the House of Commons Commission, is it your belief that any such change on the question of the nomination of homes could not be retrospective and therefore would not apply to any of the information currently in the public domain?

Watch this