Points of Order

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:32 pm on 9th May 2006.

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Photo of Norman Baker Norman Baker Liberal Democrat, Lewes 3:32 pm, 9th May 2006

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. You have always been very good at defending the rights of this House to ensure that statements by Ministers are made first to this House, not to the media in advance of the House being informed. I have been given a written answer by the former Leader of the House, now the Minister for Europe, Mr. Hoon, dated 4 May, in which he says:

"It has been the practice of successive Governments to release specific reports and other documents under timed embargo to assist the media in its coverage."—[ Hansard, 4 May 2006; Vol. 446, c. 1727W.]

He goes on to explain that that is in advance of Parliament being informed in the Chamber. May I ask you to reflect on whether that breaks the spirit of the ruling that you have consistently given whereby this House should be informed first, before the media? Is not it wrong to give the media embargoed statements?