POINT OF ORDER – MANDELSON RESIGNATION – 29 January 2001

Dr Julian Lewis: On a point of order, Mr Speaker. I apologise for not giving you advance notice of my point, but it relates to the points of order on the Hammond inquiry. It is becoming daily more clear that the reason for the resignation of the former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland was the insistence of a civil servant – the Prime Minister's chief press spokesman – that he must resign. If the Hammond inquiry finds that that is so, what recourse will Members have to hold an unelected civil servant to account when issues of such gravity as the resignation of a Cabinet Minister are precipitated by that civil servant?