HC Deb 20 January 2000 vol 342 c997 1.42 pm
Mr. John Bercow (Buckingham)

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I seek your guidance. I wonder whether you, or Madam Speaker, have received any indication from the Prime Minister that he intends to come to the House to make a statement to clear up the confusion following his statement on the health service and its contradiction by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Is it not important that the House should learn whether there is even a semblance of coherence in Government health policy sooner rather than later?

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Michael J. Martin)

That is not a point of order. We have had no notification from the Prime Minister.

Mr. Tam Dalyell (Linlithgow)

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. About five or six of us have waited 40 minutes to put a business question—in my case, to follow up on vibration white finger, which was raised last week. Why were questions on the business statement cut short?

Mr. Deputy Speaker

The hon. Gentleman knows far better than me that, when we finish a statement and go on to the main business, is at the discretion of the Chair.

Mr. Michael Fabricant (Lichfield)

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Following the news in today's papers of £10 billion-worth of extra burdens on local businesses, I was wondering whether you had received a report that the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry was to make an emergency statement to the House.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

I have not received such a request.

Mr. Christopher Chope (Christchurch)

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. May I draw your attention to column 945 in the Official Report of 19 January, where your colleague, the Chairman of Ways and Means, ruled that there had been no filibustering during the proceedings and debate? May I also draw your attention to the fact that on "Yesterday in Parliament" this morning, it was asserted as a statement of fact by a BBC correspondent that there had been filibustering? Is that not an intolerable misrepresentation of what happened in the House?

Mr. Deputy Speaker

That is certainly not a matter for the Chair. The hon. Gentleman may wish to take it up with the BBC.