Points of Order

– in the House of Commons at 4:12 pm on 18th June 2007.

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Photo of Sally Keeble Sally Keeble Labour, Northampton North 4:12 pm, 18th June 2007

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I am grateful for the opportunity to raise the fact that, on 6 June in the House, I asked my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House whether we could have a ministerial statement if the Government changed the rules for restraining young people in secure training centres. He was very helpful but, last week, the Government introduced a statutory instrument that proposed wide-ranging changes without making a statement. Is it sensible, Mr. Speaker, or in order for the Ministry of Justice to make wide-ranging proposals that affect many individuals on the rules for restraining young people in secure training centres without making a statement when one was clearly requested in the House?

Photo of Paddy Tipping Paddy Tipping Parliamentary Secretary

Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. You will recall that my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House gave an undertaking that he would raise the matter with colleagues in the Ministry of Justice. He, in fact, did so, and he is concerned about the situation described by my hon. Friend Ms Keeble. He intends to pursue the matter further with colleagues in the Ministry of Justice.

Photo of Michael Martin Michael Martin Chair, Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, Speaker of the House of Commons, Chair, Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission

I am glad that the Leader of the House will pursue the matter on behalf of Ms Keeble. Ministers should be aware that Back Benchers have constituencies to look after, and raise serious matters on the Floor of the House as part of the democratic system. Ministers should take due heed of requests from hon. Members, and I certainly hope that a statement is made, at least belatedly, that will assist the hon. Lady. Ministers should take on board the fact that it is not good practice to leave hon. Members in a situation in which they do not receive statements from Ministers. After all, they have big Departments and plenty of people around them who can assist them in making statements in the House.

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I am very pleased to see the speaker siding with the backbencher. Indeed, I read this as something of a rap across the knuckles for the ministers.

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