Points of Order

– in the House of Commons at 1:40 pm on 14 January 2015.

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Photo of Andrew Slaughter Andrew Slaughter Shadow Minister (Justice) 1:40, 14 January 2015

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. In Question Time earlier, I put some figures to the Prime Minister. I said that under the Government-endorsed “Shaping a Healthier Future” programme, the number of in-patient beds at Charing Cross hospital would fall from 360 to 24. In response, the Prime Minister said that I was “spreading disinformation”, that this was known to my neighbouring Members of Parliament and that I should “take the truth and put it in a leaflet”. I have checked last July’s clinical strategy for Imperial College healthcare trust. In that strategy, and in other places, my figures are confirmed. Other papers also confirm that, as I stated, the A and E department would move from Charing Cross to St Mary’s, Paddington. Seven of my neighbouring MPs and I have written to the Secretary of State on these matters. The Prime Minister is entitled not to answer my question, but he stated that my figures were false. I wanted to put it on the record that they were not false, but I also seek your advice, Madam Deputy Speaker, on how I can get him to correct the record.

Photo of Dawn Primarolo Dawn Primarolo Deputy Speaker (Second Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means)

Mr Slaughter, as I am sure you realise, the points you make are a continuation of the debate that started in Prime Minister’s Question Time, and you have now put on the record the clear point you wanted to get across. I am sure there is no advice I can give you that, being an experienced parliamentarian, you have not already thought of and will not be deploying in this Chamber to the best of your considerable abilities over the coming months.

Photo of Matthew Offord Matthew Offord Conservative, Hendon

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. It is a tradition and a courtesy of the House that when one Member visits another Member’s constituency, they give them prior notice. I anticipate a visit to my constituency early next week. When should that Member advise me that they will be visiting my constituency?

Photo of Dawn Primarolo Dawn Primarolo Deputy Speaker (Second Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means)

The convention is that the Member should be notified before the visit. Speaking from experience, sometimes it will be on the morning of the visit, although I think Members need a little more notice than that. However, it has to be before, and that is the convention. By the sound of it, the hon. Gentleman has some time to go yet, but I wish him luck in getting enough notice of what I am sure will be a splendid visit from whomever it is—I have no idea who it is.