Point of Order

Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Office – in the House of Commons at 12:41 pm on 25th June 2019.

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Photo of Andrew Griffiths Andrew Griffiths Conservative, Burton 12:41 pm, 25th June 2019

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Kerry Foods made the sad announcement at 5 o’clock yesterday that it intended to close its production factory in Burton, leading to the loss of between 690 and 900 jobs. That is a clear blow to my constituency and the people employed there, and we looking to the Government to come together with a cohesive plan not only to see whether there are alternative people to take over the factory but, if not, to help those 700 back into work and come up with a proper plan for the use of the site.

Can you, Mr Speaker, advise me how I can use the House to bring together the necessary Departments—the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, and the Department for Work and Pensions —to make sure that the employees of Kerry Foods get the help and support they need?

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

The hon. Gentleman, whom I thank for his point of order, is well able to advise himself, and he has advertised his concerns for starters today. Insofar as he seeks my counsel, and I focus it on matters appertaining to the Chamber, I suggest that he seek to catch my eye at an early stage, perhaps in a Question Time session this week, in which he might be able to raise the matter at a very high level in question form. If thereafter he wishes a fuller consideration of the matter he could always apply for an Adjournment debate. There is a ballot for such debates, which, I can advise him, is of a guided character—it is a guided ballot—and he may well find that he is successful in that ballot.

Photo of Heather Wheeler Heather Wheeler Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

Further to that point of order, Mr Speaker. As the MP for the neighbouring constituency to Burton in South Derbyshire and as an HCLG Minister, I very much look forward to having further conversations with my hon. Friend Andrew Griffiths about this issue, which is very important to our neighbouring constituencies.

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 extremely helpful. The hon. Gentleman’s cup runneth over, such is the plentiful supply of assistance and advice. I look forward to hearing further from him about this matter in the days to come.