Point of Order

– in the House of Commons at 2:23 pm on 5th November 2020.

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Photo of Owen Thompson Owen Thompson SNP Whip 2:23 pm, 5th November 2020

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. On 24 September, when responding to a question from my hon. Friend John Nicolson, the Minister for Digital and Culture claimed that only £59 million of a total £97 million in Barnett consequentials had been allocated by the Scottish Government for spending. The Minister then suggested that the Scots had “trousered the rest”. Not only was she factually wrong, but the implication of corruption in the word “trousering” is both distasteful and may I suggest even possibly unparliamentary. My hon. Friend has tried to resolve this matter subsequently, but has not been able to do so. May I ask for your guidance, Madam Deputy Speaker, on how we can clarify on the record that creatives have welcomed the Scottish Government’s use of that resource and that none of it has been “trousered”, and how can we bring the Minister to the House to apologise for suggesting otherwise?

Photo of Rosie Winterton Rosie Winterton Deputy Speaker (First Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means)

I am grateful to the hon. Member for giving me notice that he intended to raise this matter and for confirming that he sought to give notice to the Minister concerned, Caroline Dinenage. It is not really a point of order for the Chair, but Ministers are expected to correct factual inaccuracies in answers and statements. All hon. Members should be mindful of the distinction between two categories: the first is the use of inadvertent errors of fact by Ministers or other hon. Members; and the second, of course, is that we do not want points of order to continue a political discussion that had taken place earlier. However, I am sure that those on the Treasury Bench will have heard the point the hon. Member has made.

We will have a three-minute suspension for cleaning the Dispatch Boxes.

Sitting suspended.