Points of Order

– in the House of Commons at 12:36 pm on 15th November 2022.

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Photo of Christine Jardine Christine Jardine Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Scotland), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Women and Equalities), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Cabinet Office) 12:36 pm, 15th November 2022

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. It has been revealed that, in the Opposition day debate on Scottish independence and the economy on Wednesday 2 November, figures used by SNP Members were inaccurate. Ian Blackford said that Scotland possesses

“25% of the potential European offshore wind and tidal resource.”—[Official Report, 2 November 2022; Vol. 721, c. 884.]

This was subsequently repeated by the hon. Members for Inverclyde (Ronnie Cowan) and for East Renfrewshire (Kirsten Oswald). That figure has been debunked by the think-tank These Islands—[Interruption]—and by the Scottish Government’s own civil servants. The think-tank has shown that it is the product of a bogus analysis of a mixture of reports dating back to 1993, and freedom of information requests to the Scottish Government have shown that their civil servants have been privately warning against the use of this figure for at least two years. Given that this figure is completely fictitious, have you had any representations from those Members that they intend to come and correct the record?

Photo of Douglas Ross Douglas Ross Conservative, Moray

Further to that point of order, Mr Speaker. As Christine Jardine states, the figure of 25% used by the SNP is actually closer to 4%. [Interruption.] While SNP Members laugh at and heckle the research done by Sam Taylor of These Islands, they should remember what SNP Scottish Government officials have said. Two years ago, they said that

“we tend not to use this anymore.”

Also two years ago, they said that

“the 25% estimate has never, to my knowledge, been properly sourced”.

In January 2021, they said:

“Yes we did recycle those figures quite robotically without really checking them.”

Yet they are still being robotically recycled by SNP Members, including Ian Blackford and the hon. Members for East Renfrewshire (Kirsten Oswald) and for Inverclyde (Ronnie Cowan). What representations have you had from those Members who just in the last fortnight have used deliberately misleading claims in this House, and if they did so knowingly, will they be asked to apologise?

Photo of Lindsay Hoyle Lindsay Hoyle Speaker of the House of Commons, Chair, Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, Chair, Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, Chair, House of Commons Commission, Chair, Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, Chair, Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, Chair, Speaker's Conference Committee, Chair, Speaker's Conference Committee, Chair, Restoration and Renewal Client Board Committee, Chair, Restoration and Renewal Client Board Committee

Just a minute, please. Order. Can I just say to you, Mr Cowan, that two of us are not going to be on our feet at the same time? I am standing, I know your intention, and I will give my first answer before I come to you. Please, let us follow the orders of the House, which apply to everybody, including you.

I thank the hon. Members for Edinburgh West (Christine Jardine) and for Moray (Douglas Ross) for giving notice of their points of order. The Chair is not responsible for the accuracy of Members’ use of statistics. Members themselves must take responsibility for the accuracy of their contributions. These Members have made their views clear, and I certainly do not want a continuation of the debate.

Mr Cowan, I am sure you are not going to continue the debate, are you?

Photo of Ronnie Cowan Ronnie Cowan Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Infrastructure)

Further to that point of order, Mr Speaker. I thank you for your forbearance on this matter; I have no intention of rehearsing the debate. All I would say is that I checked Hansard and I clearly said “potential”, and I stand by that. If the Scottish Government and the industry had had investment from the UK Government, that potential—

Photo of Desmond Swayne Desmond Swayne Conservative, New Forest West

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. In an answer to my hon. Friend Andrew Jones, the Chancellor promised a letter on arrangements to be made for park homes. Is there anything you can do, Mr Speaker, to ensure we return to what used to be the normal practice: that when correspondence is referred to, it is placed in the Library of the House? We all have skin in the game.

Photo of Bob Blackman Bob Blackman Conservative, Harrow East

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. I apologise for not giving you notice of this, but reports suggest that protesters in Iran are being sentenced to death and executions may take place almost immediately. Has any Minister given you notice that they will come to the House to make a statement on what protection and assistance will be provided for people in Iran, particularly UK citizens?

Photo of Tony Lloyd Tony Lloyd Labour, Rochdale

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. The coroner recorded this morning that the death of two-year-old Awaab Ishak was caused by acute oedema—respiratory failure—but that that was caused by prolonged and severe exposure to mould growth in the home in which he lived. Mould growth in properties— both private and social housing—is an issue across these islands of ours; has any Minister given any indication that they will comment on the inquest today or in the future, and if not, can we at least alert the Treasury Bench to the coroner’s conclusions, because they have implications that go way beyond the tragic case of the two-year-old boy in my constituency?