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Points of Order

– in the House of Commons at 5:26 pm on 24th November 2008.

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Photo of David Laws David Laws Shadow Secretary of State (Children, Schools and Families) 5:26 pm, 24th November 2008

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker [Interruption.]

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Photo of Sylvia Heal Sylvia Heal Deputy Speaker

Order. Will Members leaving the Chamber please do so quickly and quietly, so that I can hear the point of order?

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Photo of David Laws David Laws Shadow Secretary of State (Children, Schools and Families)

Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. You will be aware of the confusion, caused by the statement by the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families in this place last Thursday, about access to the serious case review in the case of Baby P.

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Photo of Sylvia Heal Sylvia Heal Deputy Speaker

Order. Has the hon. Gentleman informed the Secretary of State about the comment that he is about to make?

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Photo of David Laws David Laws Shadow Secretary of State (Children, Schools and Families)

I have, Madam Deputy Speaker. You will also be aware that on Friday morning the Information Commissioner released a statement distancing himself from the impression given by the Secretary of State's statement; the commissioner followed that up with a letter published today in The Times. May I ask you what can be done to encourage the Secretary of State to clarify the confusion and approach the commissioner to establish whether a copy of the serious case review can now be made available to the public—with the relevant personal information removed, if necessary?

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Photo of Sylvia Heal Sylvia Heal Deputy Speaker

Ministerial replies are, of course, the responsibility of the Minister in question, and certainly not of the Chair. What the hon. Gentleman has said is now on the record, and I think that that will lead to the clarification that he seeks.

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Photo of Peter Bone Peter Bone Conservative, Wellingborough

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. The Chancellor's statement was widely reported in the media before it was made. Will you advise on whether the statement should have been kept secret and given to Members first?

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Photo of Sylvia Heal Sylvia Heal Deputy Speaker

The hon. Gentleman has heard Mr. Speaker make comments about such issues in the past. I certainly do not know who was responsible for the leak, but it is clear that Mr. Speaker and the other occupants of the Chair like statements to be made here first.

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