Local Government and Social Care Funding

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:46 pm on 24th April 2019.

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Photo of Eleanor Laing Eleanor Laing Deputy Speaker (First Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means) 4:46 pm, 24th April 2019

I thank the hon. Gentleman for his point of order. Of course he knows that the occupation of the Benches is not a matter for the Chair. [Interruption.] Indeed, John Howell, who is temporarily not in his place, is making it clear that he is in the Chamber. So, too, is the Minister, the Whip, Mr Jack, and the Financial Secretary to the Treasury. None the less, I take the hon. Gentleman’s point. I say to him and to the Chamber that I have been a little more lenient than normal this afternoon about people—on both sides of the Chamber—coming in and out of the Chamber and being absent for rather longer than I would normally find acceptable. This is a particularly busy week. There are many delegated legislation Committees and Select Committees sitting because the House did not sit on Easter Monday, so I have been a little more lenient than normal. That is one reason why there are fewer people in the Chamber than there might otherwise have been, but no one would like to give the impression to anybody watching that this has been anything other than a well-attended debate, with people making serious speeches. Every single speech that I have heard has been made by Members of this place who take their duties in their constituencies very seriously.