Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Points of Order

Money Laundering: British Banks – in the House of Commons at 12:34 pm on 21st March 2017.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Ian Lavery Ian Lavery Shadow Minister (Cabinet Office), Campaigns and Elections Chair

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. On Thursday 16 March, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards published her report on a complaint about my declarations in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests, which concluded that I had breached the rules relating to how I registered information and, in a subsequent and inadvertent omission, had failed to draw the House’s attention to these interests while asking a question about the future of deep coal mining in the UK on 13 March 2013. Mr Speaker, I wish to apologise to the House fully and unreservedly for what was a genuinely inadvertent breach of the rules, with which I have at all times sought to comply.

Photo of Debbie Abrahams Debbie Abrahams Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. I seek your advice concerning the emergency personal independence payments regulations, which came into force last Thursday. Over 160 Members of this House have signed a prayer against the regulations, for which the praying-against period comes to an end on 3 April. A debate has been arranged for next week in the other place, but to date the Government have refused to arrange a debate and vote on the Floor of this House.

There is a huge democratic deficit, with the regulations enforced by negative statutory instrument. That is a sad reflection of the Government’s attitude to this House. On top of that, over 180,000 people have signed a petition against the regulations. Some 81,000 disabled people will have been through a PIP assessment that will deny people in psychological distress access to additional support. Please can you advise me how I can press the Government to hold a debate on these regulations before we rise for the Easter recess?

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

The hon. Lady has raised her point with very considerable force, and she has underlined the reasons for its urgency. I have noted the number of Members, to which she referred, who have prayed against the regulations. Her point of order is not, sadly, a matter for the Chair, but it will have been heard on the Treasury Bench, and it is not an unreasonable hope and expectation on her part and that of those Members who prayed against the regulations that a debate will be arranged in a timely fashion.

In so far as she seeks advice, I would say to her that she and her colleagues could use the opportunity of business questions on Thursday to press their claims in respect of the schedule for next week’s business, for it is with next week that the hon. Lady is concerned. Whether group activity—that is to say, significant numbers raising the matter—will be effective, I do not know, but it seems a reasonable supposition that, if anything will, it might. I think we will leave it there for now.