HC Deb 01 December 1987 vol 123 cc767-8

Mr. Jeremy Corbyn accordingly presented a Bill to eliminate poverty in old age: And the same was read the First time; and ordered to be read a Second time on Friday 5 February and to be printed. [Bill 61.]

Mr. Bob Cryer (Bradford, South)

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Dennis Skinner (Bolsover)

This is an important point of order.

Mr. Speaker

Order. All points of order are supposed to be important.

Mr. Cryer

One of the important elements of the House, Mr. Speaker, is that hon. Members should be free to speakout. From the Conservative Benches, the hon. Member for Northampton, North (Mr. Marlow) has been shouting opposition to the Bill which has just been approved, and a Member of the Government Whips' Office has just sat next to the hon. Gentleman with, I believe, the aim of preventing him from opposing the Bill. That is a clear limitation of the right—

Mr. Speaker

Order. Who sits with whom is not a matter for me.


Mr. Terry Lewis (Worsley)

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker

The hon. Gentleman may seriously affect his chances of being called in the Second Reading debate if he delays the House. After all, there are about 60 right hon. and hon. Members who wish to take part in it. If the hon. Gentleman's point of order is relevant to me, I will take it, but, if not, I am afraid he may suffer.

Mr. Lewis

I consider the point of order to be very serious and will take the risk, Mr. Speaker.

During the exchange between my hon. Friend the Member for Islington, North (Mr. Corbyn) when he was presenting his Bill and the Conservative Members who were shouting from a sedentary position, the hon. Member for Tatton (Mr. Hamilton), at a particularly sensitive part of my hon. Friend's presentation, said that the IRA ought to be brought in to do away with the pensioners to whom my hon. Friend was referring. I believe that that goes beyond the normal cut and thrust of this Chamber and is particularly offensive and ought to be withdrawn.

Mr. Speaker

Order. Fortunately, I do not hear everything that goes on below the Gangway. If the hon. Member for Tatton did say anything of that sort, it would be helpful if he would withdraw it.

Mr. Neil Hamilton (Tatton)

I thought that it was the sort of point that might appeal to the hon. Member for Islington, North (Mr. Corbyn), who was introducing the Bill.

Mr. Speaker

Order. In the interests of progress—

Mr. Hamilton

In deference to your ruling, Mr. Speaker, if anything I said might have offended the sensibilities of the more sensible Opposition Members, of course I will withdraw it.