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Points of Order

– in the House of Commons at 5:11 pm on 24th February 2020.

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Photo of Alison Thewliss Alison Thewliss Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Treasury) 5:11 pm, 24th February 2020

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. I tabled two named day questions on 9 January, but the Home Office is yet to respond, and I hope that you can help me in seeking a resolution, because the questions are important. One asked how many women and men have been granted settled status under the EU settled status scheme, and the other asked how many women and men have been granted pre-settled status under the scheme. I do not know whether the Government do not know the answer or do not have the figures, but I am sure you agree that they need to give me an answer at some point—whether they know it or not.

Photo of Eleanor Laing Eleanor Laing Deputy Speaker and Chairman of Ways and Means

I thank the hon. Lady for her point of order. She knows, as the House knows, that the Chair has no responsibility for Ministers nor authority to tell Ministers when they should answer questions, but Mr Speaker will be concerned that the hon. Lady put down a named day question and that no answer has been forthcoming after such a long time. I am sure that the hon. Lady’s purpose is to draw general attention to this matter, and I think she has successfully done so. I am sure that the Treasury Bench will note what she has asked.

Photo of Rachel Reeves Rachel Reeves Chair, Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, Chair, Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. One hundred years ago today, a woman made a speech in this Chamber for the first time—[Hon. Members: “Hear, hear.”] While I do not agree with everything that Nancy Astor said or did, her maiden speech on the dangers and perils of alcohol paved the way for many more of us to speak in this House. I wonder whether you had heard of any way to celebrate that centenary.

Photo of Eleanor Laing Eleanor Laing Deputy Speaker and Chairman of Ways and Means

I congratulate the hon. Lady on bringing forward the best point of order I have ever heard in the Chamber. It is good to note this important anniversary. It was a wonderful occasion when Lady Astor made her maiden speech in this Chamber, as Luke Pollard knows so well given his work to arrange celebrations for this great centenary. Rachel Reeves tempts me to give a personal answer to her question. I am with her in my disagreement with Lady Astor’s strange ideas about alcohol. There are many ways in which the centenary ought to be celebrated, and perhaps some of us will to be able to do so this evening by proving Lady Astor wrong—[Laughter.]