HC Deb 03 December 2003 vol 415 c508 12.31 pm
Ms Gisela Stuart (Birmingham, Edgbaston) (Lab)

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I seek your advice on a matter relating to early-day motions and the listing of names. What advice would you give to a Member who finds that her name is listed on an early-day motion, even though she never put down her name, and that a subsequent correction of the record has been interpreted as a withdrawal of her name, even though no such thing occurred? My name was never put down and I did not withdraw it—what happened was a mistake.

Mr. Speaker

I thank the hon. Lady for giving me notice of her point of order. I understand that a mistake was made in the Table Office, and that it has apologised to the hon. Lady for any embarrassment that this may have caused. I add that she was right to raise the matter on a point of order, and that it is therefore well and truly on the record.

Mr. Geoffrey Clifton-Brown (Cotswold) (Con)

On a point of order, of which I have given you notice, Mr. Speaker. You will be aware that today is the exact anniversary of Second Reading of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Bill. During the intervening year, the Government took the unprecedented step of recommitting it to a second Standing Committee. In the course of those two Committees, proceedings were timetabled to such an extent that large chunks of the original Bill remain undiscussed. Hardly was the ink dry on the second Standing Committee proceedings when the Government announced that they would introduce yet another new policy on Report. That was more than a month ago, yet we did not see the amendments and new clauses that give effect to that policy until this morning.

You will be aware, Mr. Speaker, that all Back Benchers have to table amendments and new clauses by close of play tomorrow; otherwise, they will be starred and will not be debated on Report on Monday. This is a manipulation of parliamentary procedures. What can you do to ensure that Members have a greater opportunity to react to Government amendments, and have due time for consideration and to table their own amendments?

Mr. Speaker

I understand that the House will consider this Bill on Monday and Tuesday of next week. The hon. Gentleman has two clear days in which to table his amendments, and he may wish to seek further advice from the Public Bill Office.

Mr. Oliver Heald (North-East Hertfordshire) (Con)

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. During Prime Minister's questions, the Prime Minister said that he was perfectly happy for 40 different ways of funding university education to be published. Could the House authorities assist the Government in publishing that material with great speed, so that it may form part of our discussions in the forthcoming debate?

Mr. Speaker

The House authorities are busy enough looking after their own affairs without taking up the Prime Minister's affairs. The hon. Gentleman should take the matter up directly with the Prime Minister.