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Points of Order

– in the House of Commons at 3:35 pm on 25th January 2011.

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Photo of Ivan Lewis Ivan Lewis Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport 3:35 pm, 25th January 2011

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. I seek your guidance. The Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport has today made an announcement of grave importance for the future of media in this country. Despite a clear recommendation from Ofcom and the Secretary of State's admission that he has been unable to reach agreement with News Corp on adequate remedies, he has failed to do the right thing and refer the bid to the Competition Commission. This follows the shambles of the Business Secretary's prejudicial conduct and doubts about the impartiality of the Secretary of State and the Prime Minister. Surely the Secretary of State should come to the House and justify his actions.

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 am grateful to the shadow Secretary of State for giving me notice of his intention to raise a point of order. As he knows, there is a written ministerial statement today on this subject. I have not received any notice of an oral statement at this stage. What he has said will have been heard on the Treasury Bench and I trust that when the Minister has anything more to say, he will do so to the House at the first opportunity.

Photo of Grahame Morris Grahame Morris Labour, Easington

On a point of order, Mr Speaker, I wonder whether you would give the House your guidance. A few months ago, in topical Health questions, I asked the Secretary of State about a £53 million NHS contract that was awarded to a private health care company called Care UK. I have already written to the Cabinet Secretary about the apparent conflict of interest in relation to companies such as this and donations to the Conservative party, but I seek your advice on whether it would be more appropriate, in the interests of openness and for the benefit of people watching, if Ministers declared their interest when right hon. and hon. Members raised these issues in the Chamber.

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

There are very clear rules on these matters, which it is the responsibility of every Member of the House, including Ministers, to observe. I must say to the hon. Gentleman, in all gentleness but helpfully, I hope, that that is not a matter for the Chair. Some might think that he is continuing or starting a debate, which is not a matter for a point of order.

Photo of Ian Paisley Jnr Ian Paisley Jnr Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Work and Pensions), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Can you confirm that you have received a letter from Mr Adams indicating his resignation from the House? Can you indicate that he will not be allowed to breach any of the constitutional requirements that he, like any other Member, must receive office under the Crown before he can leave the House? If that is the case, can you indicate when you will reply to him instructing him of his obligations as a Member of the House?

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

Let me say to the hon. Gentleman, to whom I am grateful for his point of order, that correspondence with the Speaker is private and is not the subject of exchanges on the Floor of the House. What Members might or might not say about their correspondence is a matter for them, but I intend to keep my own counsel. There are procedures to be observed, and observed they must be.

Photo of Kevin Brennan Kevin Brennan Shadow Minister (Education)

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. We have learned today that the economy shrank in the last quarter of 2010 and that, even taking the inclement weather into account, growth would have flatlined; that is on top of yesterday's remarks by Sir Richard Lambert of the CBI. Have you received any notification from the Chancellor of the Exchequer of his intention to come to the House to explain what steps he is going to take to deal with this emerging crisis?