Points of Order: Iraq: Its Infrastructure of Concealment, Deception and Intimidation

- Monday, 10th February 2003

 

Mr. Peter Lilley (Hitchin and Harpenden): Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: Order. There are so many hon. Members making points of order that if I accept any more now, I will forget where it all started.

Mr. Lilley: Mine will be memorable.

Mr. Speaker: I realise that the right hon. Gentleman‘s contribution will be memorable, but let me try to respond to the lesser mortals in this House. I should tell the hon. Member for Hampstead and Highgate (Glenda Jackson) and other hon. Members that I am not responsible for the utterances of the Prime Minister or any other Minister, and nor am I responsible for documents that are placed in the Library or given out anywhere else. I can understand the deep concerns that every Member has about these matters, particularly given that our young servicemen are involved. Obviously, their parents and loved ones are deeply concerned about what we do. However, my powers are limited. Any urgent question that is put before me is studied very carefully, and sometimes it is rejected and sometimes it is agreed to, but what I am suggesting is a way in which some hon. Members can make their case known. I should also say that the Leader of the House did promise a debate on this matter; in fact, I and others in this Chamber were present at business questions at the time.

Both Labour and Conservative Members have raised this very worrying issue with me?some of them belong to the 1922 committee, and others to the parliamentary Labour party?and it is up to Members to put the case at these forums to try to pursue a debate. The House knows that I only have the authority that the House gives me, and I think that hon. Members will agree that they are asking me to do things that I do not have the powers to do. That is the best that I can say on this matter. Does the right hon. Member for Hitchin and Harpenden (Mr. Lilley) now have anything to say, or is he quite happy with what I have said?

Mr. Lilley: My point would have concluded simply by asking you, Mr. Speaker, whether there is any precedent of this magnitude and gravity for the House having been misled, our allies having been misled, and of individual Members in turn having misled our constituents, and no one resigning.

Mr. Speaker: The right hon. Gentleman uses the term "misled", but that is bringing me into the argument and I should not be brought into it. We have the business of the House to attend to?

Date

10.02.2003

Parliamentary Session

02/03

Reference

399 c646-7

 

 

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