Point of Order

Article 50 – in the House of Commons at 2:18 pm on 24th January 2017.

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Photo of Julian Lewis Julian Lewis Chair, Defence Committee 2:18 pm, 24th January 2017

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Yesterday I told the House in good faith:

Sir Craig Oliver vehemently denies that he or any other member of David Cameron’s media team ever knew about the aborted Trident test”.—[Official Report, 23 January 2017;
Vol. 620, c. 25.]

Sir Craig had said that to my parliamentary office staff, in terms bordering on rudeness. However, when invited to appear before the Defence Committee today, he told the Clerk that he did not wish to attend, saying that he had left No. 10 to work for the remain campaign before the test firing took place. Is there some way in which I can correct the record and assure the House that we held a most interesting session today on the subject of the Trident test firing in June, in the regrettable absence of the Secretary of State for Defence and, indeed, Sir Craig Oliver himself?

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

The right hon. Gentleman has borne stoically and with fortitude the absence of the named individual. It would certainly have been a gruelling experience to appear in front of the Committee chaired by the right hon. Gentleman. I think the answer to his question as to whether there is some orderly way in which he can put the record straight is: there is, he’s found it, job done.