POINT OF ORDER – NOISE IN THE CHAMBER – 26 May 2005

[Mr Barry Sheerman (Huddersfield): On a point of order, Mr Speaker. I want to clarify a point of order that I tried to make, however badly, on Tuesday morning, about my inability and that of many of my colleagues to hear the Minister's wind-up speech in the Queen's Speech education debate. It was a common complaint that we could not hear that speech because of the organised noise from the Opposition. In my view, that is a point of order, because anything that stops a Member being heard in the Chamber surely cannot be tolerated by the Chair.

Mr Speaker: ... If there is any orchestrated attempt to drown out any Member, from any part of the House, I will take the appropriate action – ] 

Dr Julian Lewis: Further to that point of order, Mr Speaker. I am genuinely surprised by the hon. Gentleman's insistence on this point. I was here for that debate, and I was straining to hear the Secretary of State for Education. I genuinely wondered whether the microphone was operating properly. I have seen occasions on which Ministers, or Shadow Ministers, have been shouted down from either side of the House. This was not one of those occasions.