Valerie raises Point of Order

I raised the following Point of Order on Tuesday 18 December 2018:

Valerie Vaz: On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Following the Leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition’s point of order yesterday announcing the motion of no confidence, which is in the remaining orders and notices, you will recall that the motion states:

“That this House has no confidence in the Prime Minister due to her failure to allow the House of Commons to have a meaningful vote straight away”.

Her Majesty’s Opposition have not heard whether the Government will be making a statement or tabling a business of the House motion to deal with that motion. The Prime Minister refused to ensure that a meaningful vote took place on the date that she agreed, she refuses to allow a vote to take place this week, and she is delaying a vote until 14 January 2019. This is an affront to this House and to the British people.

The motion is clear that this is the Prime Minister’s failure. The Government have not had the courtesy to come to the House to inform right hon. and hon. Members whether there will be a debate on the motion. It appears that the Government have made an announcement to everyone except this House.

May I have your guidance, Mr Speaker, on whether you have heard from the Government about whether they have agreed to find time for the no-confidence motion, and whether you heard before everyone else that the Government are not allowing a debate on the motion?

Mr Speaker: I thank the hon. Lady for her courtesy in giving me advance notice of her intended point of order. The short answer to her question is that I have had no such indication from the Government that they have any intention of acceding to the request for a debate on the motion, although I have no doubt that her plea has been heard on the Treasury Bench. For the avoidance of doubt and in the name of better public understanding of our procedures, I should make it clear that there is a strong convention that the Government provide time at an early opportunity for a no-confidence motion in Her Majesty’s Government if tabled by the official Opposition. However—and this is important—no such convention applies in relation to this particular motion, which is not a conventional no-confidence motion. So that is where things stand at present and I do not think I can add anything further, but the hon. Lady has put her point on the record.