New Forest East

POINT OF ORDER – SYRIA – 4 June 2013

Dr Julian Lewis: On a point of order, Mr Speaker. When the Prime Minister was asked yesterday whether there would definitely be a vote in this House before arms were supplied to the opposition in Syria, he replied that

“Parliament has that opportunity whenever it wants to.”– [Official Report, 3 June 2013; Vol. 563, c. 1241.]

Given that some of us suspect a decision to supply arms to the rebels in Syria might be taken during the recess, have you, Mr Speaker, had any indication from, or via, the usual channels that the Prime Minister would propose to recall Parliament, so that there could be a vote before such a serious step was taken?

[Mr Speaker: I can say to the hon. Gentleman that I have received no indication of any plans one way or the other so far as Her Majesty’s Government are concerned. In the event that the situation the hon. Gentleman describes – which is, so far, hypothetical – were to arise, I would be obliged to deal with the matter under the current terms of the relevant Standing Order governing recall, a Standing Order with which I fancy the hon. Gentleman either is, or will shortly become, familiar.

More widely on the merits of the matters being debated, having known the hon. Gentleman for 30 years this October, I know what an incredibly persistent woodpecker he is and I feel sure that he will return to the matter at every conceivable opportunity.]