POINT OF ORDER – ABSENCE OF DOUGLAS ALEXANDER – 8 May 2008

[Mr Deputy Speaker (Sir Alan Haselhurst): Order. In the absence of the Secretary of State for Defence – [Hon. Members: “International Development!”] In the absence of the Secretary of State for International Development, who I understand is on his way, and the Secretary of State for Defence, who has the business after that, I have no option but to suspend the sitting for five minutes.]

Dr Julian Lewis: On a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. It is extraordinary that the Secretary of State for International Development is not here. Could it be that he has been detained advising his sister on the mess that she has got the Government into, and he is now getting the Government – and, indeed, this House – into another mess?

[Mr Deputy Speaker: That has to be a matter of pure speculation. I suspend the sitting until 12.17 pm.]