29 January 2010

Speaker puts Hands in his place

In a feeble attempt to re-write history, Greg Hands was put firmly in his place by the Speaker of the House of Commons this week. Clearly the Speaker thinks the same as Mr Betts re the Tory leader of H&F council, as recorded in the exchange below:

Mr. Greg Hands (Hammersmith and Fulham) (Con): On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I have given prior notification to the Member concerned.

In Communities and Local Government questions yesterday, the hon. Member for Sheffield, Attercliffe (Mr. Betts) put a question with a wholly erroneous set of comments attributed to the leader of my council, Hammersmith and Fulham, including the statement that

"one problem with social housing was that it was hard to get rid of these people".- [ Official Report, 26 January 2010; Vol. 504, c. 669.]

That comment is entirely false. The leader of the council never said any such thing, so I should be grateful for your guidance, Mr. Speaker, on how we might set the record straight for what is, after all, one of Britain's best-loved and best-run local authorities.

Mr. Speaker: I thank the hon. Gentleman for his attempted point of order, but as he will know, on the strength of his experience in the House, it was not a point of order but a most interesting point of debate, which has now been placed fairly and squarely upon the record.

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