Point of Order

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:45 pm on 6th September 2022.

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Photo of Eleanor Laing Eleanor Laing Deputy Speaker and Chairman of Ways and Means, Chair, Standing Orders Committee (Commons), Chair, Standing Orders Committee (Commons) 1:45 pm, 6th September 2022

I thank the hon. Lady for her point of order. I am sure that the whole House agrees with her that the National Security Bill is an extremely important piece of legislation and it is vital that it should be properly scrutinised by the Committee, but I have to say that I am little surprised at her surprise that there is a ministerial reshuffle going on. I do not think that is a surprise to anyone, not just in the Chamber, but across the country or indeed the world. When a change of Government is occurring, there is by necessity a change of Ministers. It is unfortunate that this important session of this important Bill Committee happened to be taking place this morning—the day on which there is a changeover of Prime Minister.

The hon. Lady says that the situation makes a mockery of the system. I would say to her that this is how our democracy works. It is true, as somebody once correctly said, that democracy is the most inefficient form of government, but I think that we would all agree that it is still the best and fairest. I have every sympathy with the hon. Lady’s frustration at not being able to get on with this important piece of work, but I am pretty certain that within 48 hours, if not 24, there will be a Minister in place—[Interruption.] Sorry, is Dame Nia Griffith interrupting me when I am answering a point of order? Would she care to make another point of order? If not, would she please not interrupt me while I am answering this one?

Clearly the Bill needs to be scrutinised. Nobody disagrees with that. While I understand the frustration felt by Holly Lynch, this is how our democracy works. I am sure that there will be a Minister in place in very short order. I hope that if perchance there is no Minister in place within the next two days, the hon. Lady will come back to the Chamber, so that we can address what by then will be a situation that needs to be addressed by the Chair.