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Points of Order

– in the House of Commons at 12:21 pm on 9th December 2010.

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Photo of Kevin Brennan Kevin Brennan Shadow Minister (Education) 12:21 pm, 9th December 2010

On a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. Under the terms of the timetabling motion for the business that is about to come, if the debate started now, we would take a vote at 5.21 pm, because only five hours are allowed despite the fact that the moment of interruption does not come until 6 o'clock under normal business. Is there anything that can be done, even at this late stage, to get us the extra 39 minutes that we would have had under normal circumstances, so that hon. Members who want to contribute to the debate have a chance to do so?

Photo of Nigel Evans Nigel Evans Deputy Speaker (First Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means)

The timetabling for the debate was decided last night.

Photo of Thomas Docherty Thomas Docherty Labour, Dunfermline and West Fife

On a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. I have given advance notice of this point of order to the Member in question. During Environment, Food and Rural Affairs questions earlier, Mr James Gray directed a racist remark towards my hon. Friend Mr Bain. What steps can you take to protect Members of the House from the racist views espoused by Mr James Gray, and will you now ask him to apologise?

Photo of James Gray James Gray Conservative, North Wiltshire

Further to that point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. I cannot imagine what sedentary remark the hon. Gentleman may have heard, but I am certain that had it been out of order in any shape, size or form, Mr Speaker, who was then in the Chair, would have picked me up on it. Further to that, as a Scot born, bred and educated, who never left the borders of Scotland until the age of 21, I think that unlike Thomas Docherty, I have the highest respect and love for my native heath. I would never say a single word against it.

Several hon. Members:

rose -

Photo of Nigel Evans Nigel Evans Deputy Speaker (First Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means)

No, I will not take any more points of order on this matter. It might be appropriate, particularly given what is about to be debated, that I remind Members of the House that good temper and moderation are characteristics of parliamentary debate. I am sure that if the Chair had heard anything untoward, it would have been dealt with then.

Photo of William Bain William Bain Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

On a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. During an answer supplied to me by the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs during DEFRA questions this morning, she appeared to imply that a document issued by an agency of her own Department, entitled "Poverty amongst farming households", related solely to the policies of the previous Government. I have examined the document very carefully since DEFRA questions and found references to a document from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and to the Agricultural Wages Board. Can you provide the House with some assistance on how we can ensure that Government Departments communicate more effectively with each other, how Secretaries of State can be properly appraised of the contents of their own Departments' documents, and when-

Photo of Nigel Evans Nigel Evans Deputy Speaker (First Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means)

Order. This sounds like an extension of Question Time, but I am sure that Members on the Treasury Bench will have heard the points that have been made.