§ Mr. Richard Holt (Langbaurgh)
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Obviously I have not sat through as many Question Times as you have, but I think that you will concede that I frequently sit here at Question Time. Normally, you rightly rule out of order all points of order raised during Question Time, but today the hon. Member for Stockton. North (Mr. Cook) was allowed to put a point of order during Question Time. Are you creating a precedent? Is this a special arrangement with the hon. Member for Stockton, North? Will you explain how I can raise a point of order during Question Time in future?
§ Mr. Speaker
That is an unworthy comment for an hon. Member to make. The hon. Member well knows that if a matter arises that needs my immediate consideration it is always legitimate to raise a point of order. I hope that that will not happen too often during Question Time, because it would obviously delay the proceedings. This has always been the established rule. That is what I did today.
§ Mr. Holt
Further to the point of order, Mr. Speaker. I accept that I may be naive, thick and all the other things that you have suggested, but you must have immense foresight if you are able to rule that a point of order is in order before you have heard it. [Interruption.] Despite the rabble among the Opposition, I should like an honest appraisal of how you know that a point of order is in order before it is raised. Unless you do that, in future all of us should be able to raise our points of order.
§ Mr. Speaker
The hon. Member is right. Until a point of order is raised, it is impossible for the Chair to know whether it is in order. If today's point of order had not been one needing my immediate attention, I would have deferred it. [Interruption.] The House well understands the rules.