Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:33 am on 26th April 2007.

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Photo of David Heath David Heath Shadow Leader of the House of Commons, Shadow Spokesperson (Cabinet Office) 11:33 am, 26th April 2007

The Leader of the House said that he deprecates and deplores the leaks about anti-terrorism operations. Will the Home Secretary come to the House on Monday to confirm that a police investigation has been launched along the lines that the Leader of the House described?

Further on the Home Office, may we have a debate on printing facilities in the Home Office and whether they are fit for purpose? The Home Office is obliged by law to lay before the House at six-monthly intervals a report on the costs of ID cards. That has not been done. The deadline has been missed. In addition, a commitment was made by the Home Secretary on 10 January that 27,500 files on offences committed abroad would be added to the police national computer within three months. That is another deadline that has passed. Will the Home Secretary report on both issues on Monday?

May we have a debate on coroners? That is a subject which causes concern to many people around the country, not just in the context of the inquest into Princess Diana's death, but the deplorable backlog in military inquests, which still persists and causes enormous distress to many families. May I add to that another instance of malfunction in the coroners system—the after-effects of the awful train crash at Ufton Nervet, which the right hon. Gentleman will recall? Families in Devon who lost family members in that train crash went to the High Court to secure legal aid for representation at the inquiry, and have now been told that the Government intend, disgracefully, to appeal against that grant of legal aid. One family which lost a mother and a daughter in that crash will not be represented, if the Government have their way.

Lastly, may we have a debate on engineering and innovation, this being science and engineering week? Many right hon. and hon. Members had the opportunity last night to visit the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and saw an excellent exhibition, including my constituent, Andy Green, exhibiting a remarkable vehicle that does 5,353 miles per gallon, which ain't bad. We often fail to recognise the critical role that engineers and scientists play in our society, dealing with problems that face us in the future. May we have a debate on the way that we encourage engineering in this country and encourage people to follow that career path?