Points of Order

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister – in the House of Commons at 12:51 pm on 10th October 2018.

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Photo of Tracy Brabin Tracy Brabin Shadow Minister (Education) 12:51 pm, 10th October 2018

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. In answer to a question about school funding, the Prime Minister repeated the statistic about 1.9 million children being in good or outstanding schools that was proven not necessarily the full truth only this week following investigation by the shadow Secretary of State for Education. The UK Statistics Authority has also proven the number not to be true. Will you advise, Mr Speaker?

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

I am grateful to the hon. Lady for her perspicacity and her fleetness of foot in raising this matter immediately after Prime Minister’s questions. As the House will know, I have many roles here, but they do not include that of “truth commissioner”. Each Member is responsible for the accuracy of what he or she says in the House, and if a Member, including a Minister, thinks that he or she has erred, it is that Member’s responsibility to correct the record. Meanwhile, the hon. Lady has put her thoughts on record, and she will have to content herself with that for now.

Photo of Peter Bone Peter Bone Conservative, Wellingborough

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Unusually in Prime Minister’s questions—or at any time in the House—a hon. Member held up a placard with a slogan on it. What was coincidental is that I understand that a photographer, to whom I am sure you had given permission, was taking photographs from the Gallery above me. I wonder whether you would investigate that coincidence, Mr Speaker.

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

That is a coincidence. The House photographer was working in the Gallery, but I did not note of what the House photographer took pictures. More particularly, as the hon. Gentleman has raised a perfectly proper point, the Chair has to judge in the circumstances of the time whether it is best to intervene or simply to allow matters to proceed. I felt that Mr Campbell might have, as it were, luxuriated in the lather of further attention if I had commented on the matter, but he was behaving in a mildly disorderly manner. As he knows, I am a little concerned that his propensity to consume very hot curry might be encouraging him in this somewhat untoward behaviour, from which I hope he might desist when he gets a bit older—he is only a young, new Member.

We will leave it there for now, but I am sure that Mr Bone, who regards his colleagues and those who work in the service of the House highly, would not cast aspersions on the integrity of a House Officer and, as it happens, a superb photographer—[Interruption.] Oh Mr Campbell, you must compose yourself; we are at an early stage in our proceedings.