Point of Order

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:11 pm on 7th February 2013.

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Photo of Lindsay Hoyle Lindsay Hoyle Deputy Speaker and Chairman of Ways and Means, Chair, Panel of Chairs, Chairman of Ways and Means, Chair, Panel of Chairs 12:11 pm, 7th February 2013

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for having given notice of his point of order. As he knows, the Chair has deprecated intentionally voting in both Lobbies—that is, other than cancelling out inadvertently incorrect votes, as he mentioned. We have no formal procedure for registering abstention in this House, and I would not wish us to have an informal system that would not be understood by those outside this House, and which might well mean that Members who abstain from voting are unfairly criticised for being absent. So I continue to deprecate the practice, but if there is pressure to examine a formal alternative, that would be a matter, as the hon. Gentleman rightly said, for the Procedure Committee, which I am sure has heard the message loud and clear.