POINT OF ORDER – PARLIAMENTARY CONVENTIONS – 15 May 2008
Dr Julian Lewis: On a separate point of order, Mr Speaker. You will recall the Opposition day debate on Burma yesterday. Because of the number of speakers, the Minister replying had only 10 minutes in which to try to respond to the whole debate. In the course of those 10 minutes, two hon. Members, whom I will not name, intervened and used up valuable time. Neither of those two Members had been present for any substantial part of the debate; they had come in a few minutes before the end of the debate and intervened. I am not sure whether that is a matter of order, but it is certainly a matter of convention in the House that Members do not behave in that way. I would appreciate it if you reasserted that convention.
[Mr Speaker: In the situation that the hon. Gentleman describes, there is no breach of the rules. A Member coming into the Chamber late can seek to intervene. It is up to the Member addressing the House to decide whether they accept that intervention; it is not a matter for the Chair.]