Points of Order

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:52 pm on 8th September 2014.

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Photo of Charles Walker Charles Walker Chair, Procedure Committee 4:52 pm, 8th September 2014

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Over the weekend, my surgeries were picketed by an individual in dispute with the Courts Service. I recognise the right to protest, but the use of a loud-hailer made it almost impossible to hold a conversation with those visiting my surgeries. The protest also extended to my home and, more worryingly, those of my patient and generous neighbours, which resulted in multiple calls being made to the police throughout Saturday and Sunday. The protester made it clear to my neighbours that unless I succeeded, as their MP, in changing the law to his liking, he would mount a sustained campaign against them. These threats caused great distress. Protest is one thing, but it is intolerable to try to coerce an MP to act in a particular way under the threat of his neighbours and constituents being harassed, disrupted and distressed. To paraphrase a US President—I think it was Truman or Roosevelt—“Your right to throw a punch ends where the nose of another constituent begins.”