LABOUR DISCOURTESY IN DEBATE – 12 March 2002

[Geraint Davies: I turn briefly to the problem of graffiti, which is of great concern to people, in Croydon and elsewhere.]

Dr Julian Lewis: I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for giving way. I am sure that his thoughts on graffiti will be as profound as his thoughts on everything else, but does he recall the conversation that we had only last week, when he was unfortunate enough to be the only hon. Member to be squeezed out of a debate? Will he bear in mind the remarks made on that occasion as he frames and times the rest of his contribution, given that many Opposition Members would like to contribute to the debate?

[Geraint Davies: I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman, who refers to the debate on the police last Friday, in which many hon. Members wanted to speak. I sat for three-and-a-half or four hours, but remained the only hon. Member not called to speak. The hon. Gentleman said at the time, helpfully, that I should not worry, as I could always give the speech on another occasion. This is that other occasion, and I thank the hon. Gentleman very much for his help.]

NOTE: By speaking for 22 minutes at a late stage of this debate on London and the South East, Davies squeezed out several other speakers. Julian Lewis was not trying to speak, but was the Opposition Whip on Duty.

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[Mr Denham: The hon. Member for South-East Cambridgeshire did not give way to Members wishing to intervene. I should like to give Members who have been present throughout our debate and made speeches the courtesy of reply, rather than respond to Members who have not been here all evening.]

Dr Lewis: On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Is it in order for a Minister who has discourteously refused to reduce his reply to the time to which the Opposition spokesman [James Paice] reduced his speech to refuse to give way to people whom he has named in his summation?