Monday 18th March 2024

(3 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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15:36
Dehenna Davison Portrait Dehenna Davison (Bishop Auckland) (Con)
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On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Over the weekend, I saw on social media that a number of Labour Members had the good judgment to visit the beautiful Bishop Auckland constituency, and while I am grateful to the one Member who gave me notice of their visit, that was in stark contrast to the four Members—the right hon. Member for Ashton-under-Lyne (Angela Rayner), and the hon. Members for Washington and Sunderland West (Mrs Hodgson), for Blaydon (Liz Twist), and for Newcastle upon Tyne North (Catherine McKinnell)—who did not have the good judgment to follow your advice, Mr Speaker, and notify me as the sitting MP. I have let them know of my intention to raise this issue in the Chamber today. Could you advise the House once again on how we can ensure that Members give notice of a visit to another Member’s constituency?

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I am grateful to the hon. Member for giving me notice of this point of order and informing the Members concerned. The courtesies apply to any visits made in an official capacity. I know that election fever has taken over, but I remind the House once again that, as I said on 29 November and 22 January, when a Member intends to visit another constituency other than in a private capacity, they should make every reasonable effort to inform the Member representing that constituency. Boundary changes do not take effect until the next election, and in the meanwhile we must observe the convention of not involving ourselves with other Members’ constituencies. I have had complaints from Members on both sides of the House. Please do the right thing and stick to the conventions that we expect each other to follow.

Rushanara Ali Portrait Rushanara Ali (Bethnal Green and Bow) (Lab)
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On a point of order, Mr Speaker. On Thursday 14 March, during business questions, in response to a question from the hon. Member for Colne Valley (Jason McCartney) about council spending, the Leader of the House said that Labour had a “legacy” of “vote-rigging” in Tower Hamlets. That is a false claim. I wonder if the right hon. Lady got her parties confused, as there was a widely reported case in 2015 in which the Election Commission and Richard Mawrey voided the mayoral election of 2014 under the Representation of the People Act 1983 on the grounds of corrupt and illegal practices, but that related to the activities of a party named Tower Hamlets First, and had nothing to do with Tower Hamlets Labour party or the national Labour party. Can you offer advice, Mr Speaker, on whether and when the Leader of the House can come to the House to set the record straight?

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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The Leader of the House is here.

Penny Mordaunt Portrait The Leader of the House of Commons (Penny Mordaunt)
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Further to that point of order, Mr Speaker. I take such matters extremely seriously, and in the past when I have misspoken or got a fact wrong, I have corrected the record. However, if I am guilty of anything in our exchange last Thursday, it is of underplaying the situation. The incident that the hon. Lady refers to did indeed involve an independent politician, although backed by Ken Livingstone. However, in the year 2018 alone, there were 40 new cases of corruption under the then Labour Mayor John Biggs, and the incident I referred to was Labour’s legacy because just a few weeks ago, Government inspectors were called in again to investigate Tower Hamlets. I fully understand it if the hon. Lady does not want to take my word for it, so I direct her to a letter written to her party’s national executive committee in 2016 about a local selection. It was written on behalf of members of the local Labour party. It said:

“on behalf of a number of distressed members the Tower Hamlets Labour Party who have been victims of intimidation, bullying, harassment and blackmailing by members of John Biggs’ campaign team; some of whom are senior and leading figures of the local Labour Party”.

If she looks up the letter and sees who is signatory to it, she may be more persuaded.

Supply and Appropriation (Anticipation and Adjustments) Bill

Motion made, and Question put forthwith (Standing Order No. 56), That the Bill be now read a Second time.

Question agreed to.

Bill accordingly read a Second time.

Question put forthwith, That the Bill be now read the Third time.

Question agreed to.

Bill accordingly read the Third time and passed.

Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill (Programme) (No. 2)

Motion made, and Question put forthwith (Standing Order No. 83A(7)),

That the following provisions shall apply to the Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill for the purpose of supplementing the Order of 12 December 2023 (Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill: Programme):

Consideration of Lords Amendments

(1) Proceedings on consideration of Lords Amendments shall (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a conclusion at 8.00pm at today’s sitting.

Subsequent stages

(2) Any further Message from the Lords may be considered forthwith without any Question being put.

(3) Proceedings on the first of any further Messages from the Lords shall (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a conclusion two hours after their commencement.

(4) Proceedings on any subsequent Message from the Lords shall (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a conclusion one hour after their commencement.—(Aaron Bell.)

Question agreed to.