§ Madam Speaker
I have a statement to make. On 9 May, the hon. Member for Sutton and Cheam (Lady Olga Maitland) rose on a point of order and said, in relation to amendments in her name to the Civil Rights (Disabled Persons) Bill:I would like to make it abundantly clear that I raise my own amendments. I sought consultation, but it would be totally unfair to suggest that they came from any other source."—[Official Report, 9 May 1994; Vol. 243, c. 23.]The hon. Lady has now written to me to say that she was anxious to accept personal responsibility for the amendments in her name, and that she did not intend to imply that they had not been drafted by others in the first instance.
I cannot accept that the wordsit would be totally unfair to suggest that they came from any other sourcedid not amount to a denial that the amendments had been drafted by others. At the time the hon. Lady volunteered her disclaimer, the House had already been told that the amendments had been drafted by parliamentary counsel. Her statement did not so much mislead the House as exasperate it.
In this respect, I believe that the hon. Lady's statement fell below the standards that the House is entitled to expect from its Members. I strongly rebuke her for her conduct on that occasion.
§ Lady Olga Maitland (Sutton and Cheam)
In the light of your statement, Madam Speaker, may I make an unreserved apology to you and the House?