Draft Army, Air Force and Naval Discipline Acts (Continuation) Order 2002

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Mr. Howarth: I understand why the right hon. Gentleman is sensitive about such matters. I am sorry that he thinks that what I said was out of order. I do not agree. We are entitled to raise such issues. The QC raised the matter publicly, but she was not just any old QC. I said to him yesterday that, had Sir Denis Thatcher engaged in some of the activities in 10 Downing street in which the spouse of the current Prime Minister engages, he would have been in severe trouble—

The Chairman: Order. The hon. Gentleman is now beginning to call my judgment into question. I will not have that. I said clearly that although his remarks quoting a lawyer—a QC—were in order, the manner in which he did so and the way in which he named the

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Prime Minister's wife was not in the best traditions of the House. My ruling remains.

Mr. Ingram: Thank you, Mr. McWilliam. I am not sensitive about such matters; I was trying to call for a high standard of debate.

I hope that I have covered all the issues that were raised. I shall consider any to which I have not referred and write in detail about them to the hon. Gentleman. He is showing me something, but I cannot read it from that distance. I may be wearing spectacles but, unless he throws it across the Room to me, I shall not be able to assess it.

Mr. Howarth: Will the Minister give way?

Mr. Ingram: I am about to conclude. I ask the Committee to accept the motion. I commend it to the Committee.

Question put and agreed to.


    That the Committee has considered the draft Army, Air Force and Naval Disciplines Acts (Continuation) Order 2002.

Committee rose at nineteen minutes past Five o'clock.

The following Members attended the Committee:
McWilliam, Mr. John (Chairman)
Barnes, Mr.
Burnside, David
Flook, Mr.
Gillan, Mrs.
Howarth, Mr. Gerald
Ingram, Mr.
King, Andy
Ladyman, Dr.
McWalter, Mr.
Murphy, Mr. Jim
Plaskitt, Mr.
Walley, Ms

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