HC Deb 31 January 1996 vol 270 cc1009-10

Mr. John Spellar accordingly presented a Bill to regulate the funding of political parties: And the same was read the First time; and ordered to be read a Second time upon Friday 19 April and to be printed. [Bill 51.]

Mr. David Winnick (Walsall, North)

On a point of order, Madam Speaker. In view of the substantial majority in favour of my hon. Friend the Member for Warley, West (Mr. Spellar) being given permission to bring in the Bill and bearing in mind the importance of the subject—which we have been debating on and off for the past 12 to 18 months—can the Nolan Committee be notified of the House's decision? It is an important point and I see no reason why the views of the House, as expressed just now, should not be relayed formally to the Nolan Committee by the Clerks.

Madam Speaker

The Nolan Committee has its own terms of reference to which it works, as I am sure the hon. Member for Walsall, North (Mr. Winnick) is aware.

Dame Elaine Kellett-Bowman (Lancaster)

Further to that point of order, Madam Speaker. May I point out to the House that the Division figures are unbalanced by the fact that parliamentary private secretaries cannot vote?

Madam Speaker

Order. I am not in the habit of allowing one point of order to run on and become a debate. I can accept another point of order only if it is on a different matter. It is a waste of the House's time, if they are not points of order.

Mr. Bruce Grocott (The Wrekin)


Madam Speaker

Does the hon. Member for The Wrekin have a point of order on another matter?

Mr. Grocott

My point of order is about the credibility of the Division figures.

Madam Speaker

We do not need to know about the credibility of the figures: they are there for all to see. A majority of one constitutes a win in our democracy, and that is the end of the matter.