HC Deb 27 November 2003 vol 415 c140 12.19 pm
Mr. Patrick McLoughlin (West Derbyshire (Con)

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Can you instruct the Serjeant at Arms to investigate urgently whether the monitors in the offices of Labour Members are working? Only two Labour Back Benchers asked the Leader of the House questions, which I think represents 0.4 per cent. of the parliamentary Labour party, compared with more than 14 of my hon. Friends. There was also a good attendance by the Liberal Democrats. Something is obviously wrong with the monitors.

Mr. Speaker

I can assure the hon. Gentleman that the monitors are fine. There is nothing wrong with them.

Mr. George Osborne (Tatton) (Con)

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. In the Prime Minister's response yesterday to the Leader of the Opposition's reply to the Queen's Speech, the House heard him refuse to give way to the hon. Member for Banff and Buchan (Mr. Salmond) because he was from Scotland and the Prime Minister was referring to an English matter. You charitably described that as a slip of the tongue by the Prime Minister, but has he confirmed that? In the forthcoming legislative programme, controversial measures may get through only with the support of Scottish Labour Members.

Mr. Speaker

I remember that the hon. Member for Banff and Buchan (Mr. Salmond) got his way yesterday when the Prime Minister gave way.

Mr. Eric Forth (Bromley and Chislehurst) (Con)

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Do you approve of doughnuts? You will have noticed that, mysteriously, even as we speak, a number of Labour Members have appeared and are sitting just behind the place from which the Foreign Secretary is about to orate. Do you approve of or deprecate that habit, or is it simply a strange coincidence? Perhaps you could tell us.

Mr. Speaker

I will not be drawn into that argument.