We need your support to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can continue to hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Points of Order

– in the House of Commons at 12:40 pm on 20th January 2011.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Gerry Sutcliffe Gerry Sutcliffe Shadow Minister (Home Affairs) 12:40 pm, 20th January 2011

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Further to the question that my hon. Friend Mr Watson asked about the urgent question this morning, I point out that I have been in the House for 16 years and have never seen a situation in which the Opposition have had to raise a question in order for the Government to make a statement and an announcement.

The Minister for Immigration said that he would put the details in the Library. I have checked with the Library, and those details are not there. The predicament for the House is that the legislation will lapse on Monday, when we have Home Office questions. Can we not urge the Home Secretary to make her statement on Monday?

Photo of John Bercow John Bercow Chair, Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, Chair, Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, Speaker of the House of Commons, Speaker of the House of Commons

What I can say is twofold. First, no doubt material promised for the Library will get there as soon as possible. Secondly, although I am extremely sympathetic with the general cause of revealing material first to the House and there being an opportunity for scrutiny of Government policy, it is surely as much as I can say to the hon. Gentleman that today the House has had the opportunities provided by the urgent question. We shall have to await the development of events.

Photo of Peter Bone Peter Bone Conservative, Wellingborough

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. While I was congratulating the Government earlier, I made the mistake of not congratulating you on the speed with which the House is getting through questions and how Parliament is improving because of that.

Photo of John Bercow John Bercow Chair, Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, Chair, Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, Speaker of the House of Commons, Speaker of the House of Commons

I do not look for congratulations, but the hon. Gentleman's generosity of spirit is already legendary, and as a result of what he has just said it has become more so.

Photo of Diana R. Johnson Diana R. Johnson Shadow Minister (Home Affairs)

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Yesterday the Education Secretary told the House, Official Report, column 888, that people in Hull should vote Liberal Democrat as the council provided a full travel grant for 16 to 18-year-olds in receipt of education maintenance allowance. He did not mention that the current grant of £100 a year is only about £3 a week and does not cover the full travel costs, or that it is available only to those travelling more than 3 miles. The scheme is discretionary and is threatened by the £67 million of cuts that the coalition Government are imposing on Hull. Under a Labour council, Hull previously provided a totally free student travel pass. Is there an opportunity for the correct facts to be put before the House?

Photo of Barry Gardiner Barry Gardiner Labour, Brent North

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. You graciously invited the Speaker of the Indian Parliament to be with us this week, and she has had a very successful visit. You may be aware, however, that she was subject to significant embarrassment yesterday when attending a meeting at the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, chaired by Joseph Johnson. A map of India was displayed incorrectly showing Kashmir as entirely separate from India, causing real debate and distress to some members of her delegation. Could an investigation be made into why such a map was in the CPA rooms and why that embarrassment was caused to that distinguished delegation?

Photo of John Bercow John Bercow Chair, Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, Chair, Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, Speaker of the House of Commons, Speaker of the House of Commons

I note what the hon. Gentleman has said, and the CPA will doubtless have a view about it. I echo entirely what he said about Speaker Kumar, whom it was my great privilege to meet, welcome and entertain, but I hope he will understand if I refrain from saying anything further today on the Floor of the House. I note his observations.