Public Health

Delegated Legislation – in the House of Commons at 5:45 pm on 15th September 2020.

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That the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 2) (England) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2020 (S.I., 2020, No. 788), dated 22 July 2020, a copy of which was laid before this House on 23 July, be approved.—(David Duguid.)

Question agreed to.

Motion made, and Question put forthwith (Standing Order No. 118(6)),

That the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Wearing of Face Coverings in a Relevant Place) (England) Regulations 2020 (S.I., 2020, No. 791), dated 23 July 2020, a copy of which was laid before this House on 23 July, be approved.—(David Duguid.)

Question agreed to.

Hon. Members::

No!

Photo of Christopher Chope Christopher Chope Conservative, Christchurch

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. There are thousands—in fact, tens of thousands—of people who will be observing these proceedings and will have noticed that the Government have contrived to prevent this House of Commons from being able to have a substantive vote on some of the most repressive legislation we have ever seen in our democracy. My right hon. Friend Sir Desmond Swayne and I are but two among many Members who object to what is going on, and all I can say is that revenge is a dish best served cold.

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

This really is a point of order for the Chair, because it is incumbent on the occupant of the Chair at any particular given time to decide whether there has to be a physical Division or whether the opinion of the House can be taken on the voices. I decided that the opinion of the House on motion 4 could be taken on the voices, because I could hear a great many more Ayes than Noes. That is my decision, and I will stand by it. If the hon. Gentleman or anyone else in this House had wished to make sure that a deferred Division took place, which would have happened had we reached this point in the proceedings after 7 o’clock, it was open to the hon. Gentleman—who, I know from many years of past experience, is quite capable of keeping the House from discussing a particular subject for many hours—and any other Member to make sure that the previous business did not finish before 7 o’clock.

Photo of Desmond Swayne Desmond Swayne Conservative, New Forest West

Further to that point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. I seek your guidance as to how those of us who sought to record our opposition to this motion as a matter of public record—because of the large number of people who have made representations to us—might actually record the fact that we opposed this motion?

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

I appreciate the point that the right hon. Gentleman makes. He has just solved his problem; let it be known that Sir Christopher Chope and Sir Desmond Swayne oppose motion 4. I note that there are two of them, and that there are a great many others who do not oppose it. I have just explained in my answer to the point of order from the hon. Member for Christchurch that there were very obvious ways in which he and the right hon. Member for New Forest West could have ensured that a vote on motion 4 was taken by way of a deferred Division.

Photo of Christopher Chope Christopher Chope Conservative, Christchurch

Further to that point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker.

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

I do not think there can be any more on this, but I will be fair to the hon. Gentleman and take his point of order.

Photo of Christopher Chope Christopher Chope Conservative, Christchurch

Madam Deputy Speaker, you are absolutely correct in saying that, in normal circumstances, there would have been ways in which we would have been able to ensure that business continued until 7 o’clock, but unfortunately that facility is not available in call list system unless one is on the call list.

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

Order. I appreciate the hon. Gentleman’s point, but I am afraid that he is completely wrong. It would have been perfectly in order for Members not on the call list to participate in the proceedings that have just concluded by way of interventions and so on. There are ways in which that could have been done, and I am sure that, on reflection, the hon. Gentleman, who is more expert than almost any other Member on the use of procedure in this House, could have used the procedure to his advantage had he decided to do so. However, I have taken the decision on the Division on motion 4, so we come to motion 5.

Motion made, and Question put forthwith (Standing Order No. 118(6)),