§ 4.5 pm
§ Mr. David Winnick (Walsall, North)
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, I see from the Order Paper that you have appointed the First Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means as an additional chairman of Standing Committee F in respect of the Social Security Bill. I have read in the press—and perhaps you could let the House know whether this is the case—that Government Whips strongly prevented the hon. Member for Macclesfield (Mr. Winterton), a member of the Conservative party, from chairing that Committee at certain times because they said that the hon. Gentleman had signed an early-day motion.
There are several points on which I should like you to give your view, Mr. Speaker. First, relating to the impartiality of the Chairmen's Panel, is it suggested that because an hon. Member has signed an early-day motion when that hon. Member is on the Chairmen's Panel he or she is not impartial? That would be an insult to the hon. Member concerned. I know that the opposition did not come from you, Mr. Speaker—
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. I must stop the hon. Gentleman there. It is within my discretion who is appointed to be the Chairman of a Standing Committee. I took into account several factors concerning Chairmen of Standing Committee F and I have appointed for this day one of the Deputy Speakers. I cannot go further than that.