HC Deb 11 March 2004 vol 418 c1676 1.29 pm
Mr. Oliver Heald (North-East Hertfordshire) (Con)

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. As you will know, the Opposition have campaigned long and hard to try to provide some support to Allied Steel and Wire workers and others who have lost out in pension wind-ups, and we strongly supported the Bill that the right hon. Member for Birkenhead (Mr. Field) introduced. In those circumstances, is it right for the Leader of the House to be able to turn to me in the middle of business questions, when I cannot respond, to ask me what my party has done or would do about those wind-ups? There is a clear answer, but I am not able to give it in those circumstances. Is it in order for the Leader of the House to behave in that way, or is it possible that I have the right to ask a further question when specifically challenged in that way? One way or the other, it is wrong that the impression should be given that the Opposition do not have policies in an area where we have been leading the campaign.

Mr. Speaker

This is an hour devoted to business questions. If the questions and answers were about the business of the House, we would not get into these difficulties.

Mr. Peter Luff (Mid-Worcestershire) (Con)

But no one would come to business questions.

Mr. Speaker

Exactly. Then it would be less than an hour.

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