CONSERVATIVE
New Forest East

POINT OF ORDER – HOME ENERGY BILL – 18 July 2002

Dr Julian Lewis: On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I seek your guidance on a matter relating to the Home Energy Conservation Bill, which, as Mr. Speaker's Office will be well aware, was pulled suddenly. It was due to be debated tomorrow.

There is massive interest in the Bill out in the country. By sheer coincidence, a Conservative Member has tabled an identical Bill – the Home Energy Conservation (No. 2) Bill – which is rather low in the batting order for tomorrow. Can you advise the House, Mr. Deputy Speaker, and advise all who are so concerned about the fact that the Labour Member has pulled his Bill, whether the Conservative version of what is in effect the same Bill could be moved up the batting order, and whether the Government have notified you that they would be willing for that to be done?

[Mr Deputy Speaker (Sir Alan Haselhurst): It was the promoter of the Bill who decided to withdraw it, and the Chair has no control over that. As the hon. Gentleman says, another Bill of a similar nature then appeared. That Bill, I am afraid, must take its appointed place, and neither the Chair nor anyone else has power to change the order. We must wait and see what happens tomorrow.]