HC Deb 05 February 2001 vol 362 cc661-2 3.31 pm
Mr. Tam Dalyell (Linlithgow)

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. In view of ever-increasing incursions by Albanian or Kosovo Liberation Army forces into southern Macedonia and southern Serbia and of the apprehension of KLA personnel by British personnel and their handing over not to KFOR but to the Americans at Camp Bond Steel, have you had any request from the Ministry of Defence to comment on those important events?

Mr. Speaker


Mr. John Wilkinson (Ruislip-Northwood)

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. You will remember that the Leader of the House of Commons promised on Thursday that there would be a statement from the Deputy Prime Minister when his talks with the commissioner for transport in London had reached a refined stage. Are not the travelling public in London facing a crisis at a refined stage of misery because of the political strike on the London underground? Have Transport Ministers suggested to you that they should face up to their responsibilities by making a statement to the House?

Mr. Speaker

There is a further point of order.

Mr. Bernard Jenkin (North Essex)

Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. In view of the lack of investment in the tube over the past four years, the clear deterioration of the tube and today's dreadful strike, and because of the statement made by the Deputy Prime Minister on Friday—a humiliating climbdown for him and a clear change in Government policy—do not the Government owe the House the courtesy of an explanation and a statement?

Mr. Speaker

Both hon. Gentlemen have raised that matter as a point of order, but it has nothing to do with the Chair.

Mr. Michael Fabricant (Lichfield)

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. A few moments ago, the Minister of State, Home Office, the hon. Member for Norwich, South (Mr. Clarke), said that a question was "meaningless". Is it not up to the Clerks and the Table Office to determine whether a question is meaningless? Was it not discourteous to the Table Office to say so?

Mr. Speaker

I do not think that the hon. Gentleman should worry too much about the Table Office, which can handle itself.

Miss Anne McIntosh (Vale of York)

Further to the point of order made by my hon. Friend the Member for North Essex (Mr. Jenkin), Mr. Speaker. In what circumstances can we expect the Deputy Prime Minister to make a statement to the House? Is it not a normal courtesy to make statements to the House rather than at a press conference?

Mr. Speaker

That is up to the Deputy Prime Minister.