Prayers

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 2nd February 2018.

Alert me about debates like this

The Chairman of Ways and Means took the Chair as Deputy Speaker (Standing Order No.3).

Photo of Steven Baker Steven Baker The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union 9:34 am, 2nd February 2018

On a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. I wish to correct the record of my answer yesterday to my hon. Friend Mr Rees-Mogg. He is aware of this point of order.

Yesterday, I answered a question based on my honest recollection of a conversation. As I explained yesterday, I considered what I understood to be the suggestion being put to me as implausible because of the long-standing and well-regarded impartiality of the civil service. The audio of that conversation is now available, and I am glad that the record stands corrected.

In the context of that audio, I accept that I should have corrected or dismissed the premise of my hon. Friend’s question. I have apologised to Mr Charles Grant, who is an honest and trustworthy man. As I have put on record many times, I have the highest regard for our hard-working civil servants. I am grateful for this opportunity to correct the record and I apologise to the House.

Photo of David Drew David Drew Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

I beg to move, That the House sit in private.

Question put forthwith (Standing Order No. 163), and negatived.