Point of Order

– in the House of Commons at 1:32 pm on 8th May 2019.

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Photo of Drew Hendry Drew Hendry Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) 1:32 pm, 8th May 2019

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. During last week’s Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy questions, the Minister for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, Chris Skidmore told me in reply to a question about solar that the UK had installed

“more than twice as much solar capacity as any other European country—more than Germany, France and Australia combined.”—[Official Report, 30 April 2019;
Vol. 659, c. 105.]

Even if he meant Austria, rather than Australia, he is wrong either way. Germany alone has 46 GW of solar; the UK has only 13 GW. Germany, France and Austria together have four times the UK capacity at 56 GW, and Australia has 65 GW, which is five times the UK capacity. It seems that the joint Minister of State has failed on both Energy and Education. Mr Speaker, can I get your advice on how to bring the Minister back to the House to correct the record on this matter?

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. Gentleman for his point of order. The answer to him is that responsibility for the veracity of statements made in this Chamber lies with each individual hon. and right hon. Member. The question of whether an error has been made that has caused the House to be misled is a matter not for adjudication by the Chair but for the judgment of individual colleagues. I feel sure that the contents of the hon. Gentleman’s point of order will shortly be winging their way to the Minister, and if he judges that he has made a mistake, I feel sure that he will consider himself honour bound to correct the record. There are a number of ways in which he can do that. He could return to the Chamber specifically to attend to the hon. Gentleman’s point, but I would not wish to encourage the hon. Gentleman to hold his breath. We will leave it there, and I hope that the hon. Gentleman feels that he has found his own salvation. The smiling countenance that he now shows to the House suggests that that is so.