POINT OF ORDER – END OF COMBAT OPERATIONS IN AFGHANISTAN – 28 October 2014

Dr Julian Lewis rose

Mr Speaker: We must now make some progress, but not before the jack-in-the-box is satisfied – the hon. Gentleman is bobbing up and down with purpose – and we hear a point of order from Dr Julian Lewis.

Dr Lewis: On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Thank you for that build-up. May I ask whether you have had any notification, either from the Foreign Secretary or from the Defence Secretary, that we will be having a dedicated statement on the ending of the campaign in Afghanistan, because such a statement would give opportunities to pay tribute to the fallen and to the wounded, particularly among hon. Members’ constituents, and to debate issues about the way in which the campaign was fought?

Mr Speaker: The hon. Gentleman is a canny enough fellow to know that he has now, for his own part, substantially achieved his objective, but I know him well enough to know that he will want lots of other colleagues to have comparable opportunities.

The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Mr Philip Hammond) rose

Mr Speaker: The Foreign Secretary’s excitement knows no bounds as he seeks to respond.

Mr Hammond: Further to that point of order, Mr Speaker. My hon. Friend raises an important and interesting point. I am sure that Members of the House will want an opportunity to pay tribute to the service and commitment that our servicemen and women have shown in Afghanistan. I will undertake to discuss with the Leader of the House whether such an opportunity could be found.

Mr Speaker: I am very grateful to the Foreign Secretary for that extremely helpful reply.