Debates between Christopher Chope and Lindsay Hoyle during the 2019 Parliament

Tue 16th November 2021
2 interactions (294 words)
Tue 1st December 2020
3 interactions (237 words)
Tue 17th November 2020
3 interactions (468 words)
Tue 15th September 2020
2 interactions (200 words)
Fri 11th September 2020
2 interactions (336 words)

Committee on Standards

Debate between Christopher Chope and Lindsay Hoyle
Tuesday 16th November 2021

(2 weeks, 4 days ago)

Commons Chamber

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Leader of the House
Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Order. If the hon. Gentleman wishes to give way, he will give way. I think his slight indication was that he does not wish to give way to Mr Harper. [Interruption.] Well, whether he is right or wrong is totally different to the rules of the House.

Christopher Chope Portrait Sir Christopher Chope
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Thank you, Mr Speaker. I understand that some people find this rather an issue of sensitivity.

I raised a related aspect of this with the Leader of the House because a previous report of the Committee on Standards had decided, where colleagues had disputed the decision of the Commissioner for Standards, that that was, in itself, an aggravating factor in their penalty. That is completely at odds with the principles of natural justice in our country. In our country you can defend yourself in a forum—a court of law or an inquiry—and that cannot be regarded as an aggravating factor. If you admit your guilt, that can be a mitigating factor, but to defend yourself against charges cannot be regarded as an aggravating factor. The former right hon. Member for North Shropshire referred in his evidence to the Committee to the impact of the inquiry upon himself and his family. I cannot see how that could have been, in itself, an aggravating factor when it came to sentence. The Leader of the House referred to that issue on 3 November and I think it struck a chord with many of us.

It is so important that natural justice should be allowed to take its course and be applied in our proceedings, and that we should not allow ourselves to be pushed into positions of almost being subject to mob rule and mob justice. That is why I welcome this debate and the opportunity to hear people’s views about the—

Education (Guidance about Costs of School Uniforms) Bill

(3rd reading)
Debate between Christopher Chope and Lindsay Hoyle
Friday 12th March 2021

(8 months, 3 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber

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Department for Education
Christopher Chope Portrait Sir Christopher Chope (Christchurch) (Con)
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I beg to move amendment 2, page 1, line 5, after “must” insert

“within six months of this Act coming into force”

This amendment will ensure that the guidance has to be issued within a specific time.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

With this it will be convenient to discuss the following:

Amendment 3, page 1, line 9, leave out

“the Secretary of State considers”

and insert “are”

This amendment will introduce an objective test of relevance in place of a subjective test.

Amendment 4, page 1, line 10, at end insert

“including price, quality, design, place of manufacture and country of origin.”

This amendment will ensure that these aspects bearing upon costs are addressed in any guidance.

Amendment 1, page 1, line 10, at end insert—

‘(2A) But guidance issued under this section must include guidance on—

(a) ensuring there is an adequate market for second-hand uniform where that uniform is provided new by a single supplier, and

(b) establishing a hardship fund for the parents or guardians who struggle to meet the cost of providing uniform for their children.”

Amendment 5, page 1, line 10, at end insert—

‘(2A) Any guidance issued under this section must include advice on ways of minimising the payment of Value Added Tax as a component of the cost of school uniforms.”

Amendment 6, page 1, line 11, leave out “must” and insert “may”

This amendment will enable the appropriate authority to exercise its discretion as to whether or not to have regard to the guidance.

Amendment 7, page 1, line 12, leave out “developing and”

This amendment will restrict the guidance to policy implementation.

Amendment 8, page 1, line 12, after “developing”, insert “, publishing”

This amendment will require appropriate authorities to have regard to publishing requirements in the guidance about costs of school uniforms.

Amendment 9, page 1, line 14, leave out “from time to time” and insert

“, no sooner than five years after the first guidance is issued under this section,”

This amendment will ensure that any guidance remains in place for at least five years.

Amendment 10, page 1, line 18, leave out paragraph (b)

This amendment would exclude an alternative-provision Academy from the provisions of the Bill.

Amendment 11, page 1, line 21, leave out paragraph (d)

This amendment would exclude a non-maintained special school from the provisions of the Bill.

Amendment 12, page 2, line 1, leave out paragraph (e)

This amendment would exclude a pupil referral unit from the provisions of the Bill.

Amendment 13, page 2, line 3, leave out from “school” to “the proprietor” in line 4

This amendment is consequential on Amendments 10 and 11.

Amendment 14, page 2, line 6, leave out paragraph (c)

This amendment is consequential on Amendment 12.

Amendment 15, page 2, line 6, at end insert—

‘(7) Before issuing any guidance under this section, the Secretary of State must consult the National Governors Association, the Parent Teacher Association UK and representatives of the different categories of relevant school.”

Amendment 16, in clause 2, page 2, line 9, leave out “two” and insert “six”

This amendment will ensure that any guidance under this Act will not apply to the 2021/22 academic year.

Christopher Chope Portrait Sir Christopher Chope
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My opening remarks will, as ever, be brief. First, let me say how wonderful it is that we have Friday sittings back, and I am grateful to you, Mr Speaker, and to the Leader of the House for having facilitated that. I understand that Her Majesty’s official Opposition were keen that we abandon Friday sittings, so I hope they have now realised that there is a virtue in this, not least because some of the Bills on today’s Order Paper are being promoted by Opposition Members. Let us welcome that and put it on the record.

I wish to speak to the amendments standing in my name and those of my hon. Friends the Members for Wellingborough (Mr Bone) and for Shipley (Philip Davies), and to amendment 1, which stands in the name of my hon. Friend the Member for Wellingborough. The essence of this Bill is something that everybody in the House supports; after all, who wants the cost of school uniforms to be higher than it needs to be? I support the idea that we should have good-quality school uniforms at a competitive price, available throughout schools in England. That is the purpose of the Bill, and the hon. Member for Weaver Vale (Mike Amesbury) and I are ad idem on that.

The hon. Gentleman will probably therefore agree with my amendment 2, which is designed to put an end date on what appears to be the Government’s prevarication in getting on with the job. They were first talking about introducing statutory guidance on the cost of school uniform many years ago—back in 2015, if I recall correctly. Since then, not must progress has been made and we are now relying on the hon. Gentleman’s Bill. Again, I congratulate him on having brought it before the House.

The purpose of this amendment is to try to ensure that we get on with it, which is why the amendment proposes that the Secretary of State “must” issue guidance

“within six months of this Act coming into force”.

It is a pity that we have not had the draft guidance already. It was exactly one year ago tomorrow that the Bill was debated on Second Reading, and almost six months after that it had its Committee stage. A further six months on from that, so one year after it was first debated, the Government are still saying that they are intent on bringing forward statutory guidance but have not yet produced even a draft. When this issue was raised in Committee, the Minister for School Standards said that it was his intention to get on with it and that he would be consulting people as soon as possible about it. I interpreted that to mean he would be getting on with consulting on the draft statutory guidance, as that is often the norm in this House. While the House is considering—[Interruption.]

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Order. An hon. Member should not walk in front of another Member who is speaking. Please, let us show courtesy to each other.

Christopher Chope Portrait Sir Christopher Chope
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I am all in favour of that. Thank you, Mr Speaker. That is another example of why we need to get back to normal sittings in this Chamber, so that people become more familiar with the way we normally work.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I do not think we need to debate that.

Christopher Chope Portrait Sir Christopher Chope
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Thank you, Mr Speaker. I am going to re-emphasise my frustration, which I am sure is shared by the promoter of the Bill, about the fact that we have not yet seen the draft guidance. Once the draft guidance is produced, it will need to be the subject of consultation, and the Minister has committed to doing that, with the various stakeholders.

The guidance needs to be produced within six months of the Act coming into force. My right hon. Friend the Minister said in Committee that he did not want to be tied down to a particular date because he thought that would be too constraining. I can understand that, but unfortunately the worst fears that lay behind the questions put to him now seem to be being realised. We assumed that getting on and producing the guidance was a top priority of my right hon. Friend’s Department. In Committee, he referred to some of the key ingredients that he expected to be in the draft guidance—namely, exactly the same provisions as are in the current non-statutory guidance, which was last issued in 2013. It does not seem as though an exacting demand was being placed on him by the Committee or, indeed, that he was placing one on the shoulders of his officials, so it is disappointing that that has not yet happened. It is therefore important to put in the Bill an end date or a timescale within which the guidance must be issued. That is the purport of amendment 2.

I hope it will be convenient for Members if, instead of going through all the amendments one by one in the order in which they appear on the amendment paper, I jump ahead and go straight to amendment 5, which goes to the heart of one of the issues that I raised on Second Reading a year ago, for which I got a lot of support from the hon. Member for Weaver Vale, my hon. Friend the Member for Thirsk and Malton (Kevin Hollinrake) and others.

Amendment 5 says:

“Any guidance issued under this section must include advice on ways of minimising the payment of Value Added Tax as a component of the cost of school uniforms.”

The issue of VAT is solely within the remit of the Government, and VAT is adding 20% to the cost of a heck of a lot of school uniforms. Although we are going to issue guidance to governing bodies, which we say is very important, on the price and quality of school uniforms, the Government have the ability to reduce, at a stroke, the cost of school uniforms by 20% for all those people adversely affected by the current VAT rules. That would not have been possible before we were liberated as a legislature by our leaving the European Union.

I introduced a private Member’s Bill—I cannot remember whether it was in this Session or the previous one—to reduce value added tax. Although it was a financial Bill, I was delighted that, because it would have reduced the burden of taxation, it was within scope for private Members’ legislation. I would have tabled an amendment to this Bill along similar lines, had that been in scope, but unfortunately it would not have been, because it has a very narrow title about guidance to schools. Had the scope of this Bill been slightly wider, I would have tabled an amendment that would have removed VAT from all specific school uniforms, and I am sure that it would have received almost unanimous support in the House. As I cannot do that, I have engendered this debate by saying that included in the guidance should be a reference from the Minister to how schools and governing bodies can minimise the impact of VAT.

I will refer briefly to a BBC reality check. I do not know whether you look at these things, Mr Speaker, but this is a very helpful one. It asks:

“Why is VAT charged on school uniform?”

It goes on to say:

“For older children—or those who are taller than average—”

I will come on to the issue of waist size in a minute—

“school uniforms, as well as all other clothing and shoes, attract the full standard VAT rate of 20%. Reality Check explores why these families are paying more and why successive governments haven’t acted.”

--- Later in debate ---
Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Sir Christopher, I hate to interrupt. I recognise the theme, but I think we can both say that Beavers would never be of an adult size. We are not comparing like with like, because there is an age where children go to the next stage in Brownies and Guides—it is the same with Scouts and the Cubs movement—so they cannot be of a size where that would be applicable. As you rightly say, that is applicable to school uniforms that are of an adult size. We would agree—you are absolutely right—that the theme is about the size that uniform comes in, but I worry about trying to compare with something that could never happen.

Christopher Chope Portrait Sir Christopher Chope
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I understand the point that you are making, Mr Speaker. I am drawing attention to this because it actually does happen at the moment. As long as their uniforms are for those up to the age of 14, Beavers and Brownies are able to provide those uniforms free of value added tax, irrespective of the size—

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I must not have explained it correctly. I think that at the age of seven, eight or nine, children cannot continue, and they go to the next stage within the branch of the organisation. It is a bit like infant school, junior school and high school. That is all I am trying to say. We are getting bogged down in something that would not be applicable.

Christopher Chope Portrait Sir Christopher Chope
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My final line of defence is that this is taken from the BBC’s reality check, and it sounds as though that needs to be revised in the light of your helpful and constructive comments, Mr Speaker.

The final point I want to make on this aspect is that there was recently a survey—it was highlighted in The Guardian, of all newspapers, but the reference I have is from the Press Association—that showed the waistline spread of UK children. I will not go into the whole detail of it, but the survey found that back in 2011, an average 11-year-old girl was 148.78 cm tall compared with 146.03 cm in 1978—an increase of 2.75 cm over that time—but her waistline was 70.2 cm on average, compared with 59.96 cm in 1978. We are talking about an average 11-year-old girl, and the average has probably gone up since 2011, but the limit beyond which the waistline of a garment is subject to VAT is only 69 cm, which shows that the current VAT limit for the waistline measurement of a piece of clothing is well below the average waistline of an 11-year-old girl. That is another example of the way in which the current VAT rules have introduced a sort of stealth tax upon parents who are trying to pay for school uniform.

This amendment is designed to ensure that these issues are addressed by the Minister when he puts out statutory guidance, with advice included in that guidance to schools on how to get around it. Obviously that advice to schools might change if the Government were to accept my advice—and, I am sure, the advice of the whole House—and intervene now to take away the burden of value added tax on school uniforms, thereby reducing the price of school uniforms for everybody affected. I put that in at the beginning of my remarks because I thought it was sensible to set it in context. Obviously, we want to maximise the quality and minimise the price. Everything that follows in relation to this guidance and this Bill is in a sense subordinate to the point I have made, because the issue of VAT is solely within the control of the Government, and I think if the Government acted on it, that would be very popular.

Sittings in Westminster Hall (Suspension) (No. 2)

Debate between Christopher Chope and Lindsay Hoyle
Wednesday 13th January 2021

(10 months, 3 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber

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Leader of the House
Christopher Chope Portrait Sir Christopher Chope (Christchurch) (Con)
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I beg to move amendment (a), in line 3, leave out from “until” to end and insert “Monday 22 February”.

May I first thank you, Mr Speaker, for selecting the two amendments in my name and those of my right hon. and hon. Friends, and for facilitating this debate? It is a pity, in my view, that this debate was not volunteered by the Government and that it had to be forced on them by us objecting to the motions that were put down on the Order Paper for yesterday. One consequence of that is that at least we were able to have debates in Westminster Hall today, which otherwise would have been curtailed by the Government.

This is an important issue because we are talking principally about Back-Bench scrutiny. The Leader of the House, in his opening remarks, which I thought were very reasonable, said that he recognises the importance of Back-Bench scrutiny. What we have on the Order Paper at the moment is a proposal that will remove 21 hours a week of scrutiny of the Government—16 hours in Westminster Hall and five hours in private Members’ Bills each week. My right hon. Friend is reluctant to do that and he has said that he will come back to the House as soon as he can to bring forward alternative proposals. What I would like him to do tonight is to guarantee that the Standing Order that requires that there should be 13 sitting Fridays where private Members’ business takes precedence will be complied with in any event in this Session, and that if it cannot be complied with in this Session, the Government will honour the spirit of the Standing Order and allow for the carry-over of those Bills that are set down for days that are not able to be used.

If my right hon. Friend gives me that guarantee, in a sense, it will negate the need for amendment (a) to the second motion, because that amendment is designed to ensure that we can carry on with private Members’ Bills between the period after half-term and the end of April, and it is modelled on the previous motions brought forward by him, most recently on 30 December, when he arranged for the Friday sitting scheduled for 8 January to be moved to 15 January. That system was working perfectly all right and my question is, why, in one week, has it not been possible to replicate the same motions that were put forward previously?

The Prime Minister said today that he will be reviewing, for example, what happens in our schools after half-term. Surely it is appropriate that we should, in any event, have a guarantee that these issues will be revisited by the Leader of the House after half-term. We are talking about no fewer than 151 private Members’ Bills. I have received stick from the Government and colleagues in the past for having insisted that individual private Members’ Bills are debated, but never did I think I would be in the Chamber when the Government put down on the Order Paper a proposal that has the effect for the time being —unless it is ever amended—of depriving 151 private Members’ Bills of any opportunity to be heard and discussed in this Chamber.

I wait to hear from my right hon. Friend—I am happy for him to intervene to give me this guarantee, because I am concerned that we will get to the end of this debate and there will not be an opportunity for him to respond, and this question will go unanswered. I hope that it will not.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I might be able to help to reassure the hon. Gentleman on that, because I will be bringing the Leader of the House in at 7.50 pm, so whoever may be speaking I would expect to sit down. Let us go to the Chair of the Petitions Committee, Catherine McKinnell.

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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call Sir Christopher Chope to move his amendment (a) to motion 4.

Christopher Chope Portrait Sir Christopher Chope
- Hansard - -

In the light of this debate, I am going to put my trust in the Leader of the House; if that trust is not well founded, I will behave like the late Sir Alan Herbert. Having said that, I will not move my amendment.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I think we will leave it that the amendment will not be moved.

Question put and agreed to.

Ordered,

That, notwithstanding Standing Order No. 10 (Sittings in Westminster Hall) and the order of this House on 23 September 2020, there shall be no sittings in Westminster Hall with effect from Thursday 14 January until the House otherwise orders.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

We now come to motion 5. Sir Christopher, I take it that you will not move your amendment (a), so I will put the Question, with your agreement.

Christopher Chope Portrait Sir Christopher Chope
- Hansard - -

indicated assent.

Business of the House (Private Members’ Bills) (No. 9)

Ordered,

That the Order of the House of 16 January 2020 (Business of the House (Private Members’ Bills)), as amended by the Orders of the House of 25 March, 22 April, 12 May, 10 June, 1 July, 3 November and 30 December 2020, is further amended as follows:

leave out “15 January 2021, 22 January 2021, 29 January 2021, 5 February 2021, 26 February 2021, 5 March 2021, 12 March 2021 and 26 March 2021”.—(Mr Rees-Mogg.)

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

Can I just say to everyone that the Commission of this House takes seriously its role as an employer and its duty of care to all who work here? At its most recent meeting, as has been the case many times before, we have been guided by Public Health England’s advice. We want to do everything in our power to make our workplace as safe as possible for both Members and staff alike, even if at times that means we have to put some limits on our activities, which goes against all our instincts as parliamentarians.

I am thinking of the tragic loss of one of those people who serve this House, so at this time my thoughts are with their family and their colleagues. All I can say is that it is not a great time for this country—it is a sad time—and as soon as we can, I want this House back to normal. That is an assurance from myself, as well as from the Leader of the House.

Points of Order

Debate between Christopher Chope and Lindsay Hoyle
Tuesday 1st December 2020

(1 year ago)

Commons Chamber

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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

Order. I am sorry, but this is not a point of order for me; it is a continuation of the debate. I cannot take it as a point of order.

Christopher Chope Portrait Sir Christopher Chope (Christchurch) (Con)
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On a point of order, Mr Speaker. You will recall that on 19 November you were kind enough to grant me an urgent question on the performance of the Department of Health and Social Care in answering written questions. The Minister, in responding, said:

“We have instituted a parliamentary questions performance recovery plan”.—[Official Report, 19 November 2020; Vol. 684, c. 461.]

I then put down a question asking for that plan to be put in the House of Commons Library, so that we could all see it. Late last night, I received a reply saying that it was not possible to answer that question yet. Surely this now means that the whole issue of stonewalling has become farcical, particularly when we take into account that a lot of the other outstanding questions are highly relevant to the debate we will be having this afternoon.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I have a lot of sympathy with Members. All Members are answerable to their constituents, and if they cannot get answers their constituents are not getting the service that should be provided. I do not think that that was a satisfactory answer, and the hon. Gentleman will no doubt wish to put in for another urgent question if the situation does not improve later today.

Points of Order

Debate between Christopher Chope and Lindsay Hoyle
Tuesday 17th November 2020

(1 year ago)

Commons Chamber

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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

As I know the hon. Member will expect me to say, that is not a point of order, but of course it is important that she has raised the issue. I hope that the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs and the Ministers who now have that responsibility, have been listening to what she said. If there is going to be a policy change, I would expect the House—not the media—to hear it first, as we keep emphasising. It is media speculation at this time. The hon. Member has some good avenues through which to pursue the matter; some named day questions would be a good start. However, I am sure that it is only media speculation. Surely a Government would not use this House as a secondary vehicle, when it should be the primary one.

Christopher Chope Portrait Sir Christopher Chope (Christchurch) (Con)
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17 Nov 2020, 12:05 a.m.

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Following on from your reference to named day questions, may I ask what can be done to ensure that we get timely responses to those questions? I have 12 outstanding named day questions to the Department of Health and Social Care, one of which is over six months late. Others are over a month late, including questions the answers to which I think might be of interest to the Prime Minister—for example, about policy relating to those who are immune through antibodies. I have also raised one matter not just as a named day question, but twice during debates on the Floor of the House, when I have asked the Department, and the Secretary of State in particular, for the evidence in support of the assertion made to the House on 1 October that

“hundreds of thousands of deaths…would follow”

if the Government

“just let the virus rip”.—[Official Report, 1 October 2020; Vol. 681, c. 503.]

Where is the answer to the very reasonable question that I submitted?

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

17 Nov 2020, 12:05 a.m.

I know that the hon. Gentleman—as a person of long standing in this House, and great knowledge —knows that there are other avenues to pursue. Let me say once again that it is totally unacceptable for Members of Parliament not to get responses within the named time. The Procedure Committee will be listening to what we have already said, and I know that the Leader of the House is very concerned. The title is “named day questions”, and those questions should therefore be answered as such. It is completely unacceptable for questions not to be answered after six months. I am tempted to say that if there were an urgent question to be asked on the subject of named day questions, one could be tempted.

In order to allow the safe exit of hon. Members participating in this item of business and the safe arrival of those participating in the next, I am suspending the House for three minutes.

Forensic Science Regulator and Biometrics Strategy Bill

(2nd reading)
Debate between Christopher Chope and Lindsay Hoyle
Friday 25th September 2020

(1 year, 2 months ago)

Commons Chamber

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Home Office
Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

25 Sep 2020, midnight

Just to say the hon. Gentleman’s calling is Friday.

Christopher Chope Portrait Sir Christopher Chope
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25 Sep 2020, 12:01 a.m.

I am very grateful to my hon. Friend, and I look forward to hearing the outcome of his further enquiries. His strategy seems to be to supress my scepticism by using charm and flattery, which I am sure are important weapons in his armoury.

I am conscious that lots of people want to participate in this debate. I hope we will be able to get on to some of the later debates on the Order Paper, so having expressed some of my scepticism, I will now sit down.

Point of Order

Debate between Christopher Chope and Lindsay Hoyle
Tuesday 15th September 2020

(1 year, 2 months ago)

Commons Chamber

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Christopher Chope Portrait Sir Christopher Chope (Christchurch) (Con)
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On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Can you advise me how I can ensure that the record is corrected in relation to Division No. 94 yesterday? I spoke in support of the United Kingdom Internal Market Bill on Second Reading and I voted on all three occasions, but one of my votes has not been recorded. I suspect that the circumstances relate to the fact that there was a Government Whip there who said he could not see whether my vote had been properly recorded, but he did not give me any advice as to what would happen if there was a problem. I falsely, and quite wrongly, relied upon the Whips, and I hope that you will remind hon. Members that there is no point in relying on the Whips in the Division Lobbies.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

The hon. Gentleman has now put that point on the record and it will be investigated. All the Whips Office are now being sent to Specsavers to have their eyes tested.

In order to allow the safe exit of hon. Members participating in this item of business and the safe arrival of those participating in the next, I am suspending the House for three minutes.

Speaker’s Statement

Debate between Christopher Chope and Lindsay Hoyle
Friday 11th September 2020

(1 year, 2 months ago)

Commons Chamber

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Christopher Chope Portrait Sir Christopher Chope (Christchurch) (Con)
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On a point of order, Mr Speaker. I have been looking at today’s Order Paper and particularly at the remaining orders, where I had expected to see the statutory instrument that the Government must lay for the draconian new rules they are bringing in on Monday to be lawful. It does not appear to have been laid, despite the Prime Minister making an announcement about it on Wednesday and the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care having made a statement yesterday. I am very concerned about the lack of opportunity for the public to see the text of these new regulations and about the Government’s continuing reluctance to give any opportunity to Members to debate this. Yesterday, my right hon. Friend the Member for New Forest West (Sir Desmond Swayne) asked when we could have a debate on it, and he was told that he could apply for a Backbench Business debate. That hardly fits in with the sense of urgency about all this. When my hon. Friend the Member for Altrincham and Sale West (Sir Graham Brady) then raised the matter with the Secretary of State yesterday, he was told that the Secretary of State would take it away and think about it. That is not satisfactory, as we are talking about the most draconian introduction of new restrictions on our liberty, with criminal sanctions. We need to be aware of what is happening and given the opportunity to debate it.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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May I say that I share your disappointment? I think that we should all be informed and the country should also know what is going on. The laying of this instrument is a matter for the Government, but I would say that you know and I know that other avenues could be taken on Monday to tickle this little item out, if required. So I will leave it with you to ponder what you want to do next. The Clerk has made a note, and we will come back with further information.

Coronavirus and Care Homes

Debate between Christopher Chope and Lindsay Hoyle
Tuesday 19th May 2020

(1 year, 6 months ago)

Commons Chamber

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Department of Health and Social Care
Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

We now go to birthday boy Sir Christopher Chope.

Christopher Chope Portrait Sir Christopher Chope (Christchurch) (Con) [V]
- Hansard - -

Will my right hon. Friend pay tribute to the owners and managers of care homes who put the safety of their residents first and refused to admit any of the 15,000 hospital patients who had been exposed to covid-19, whom the Government were forcing to be discharged from hospitals at the end of March?