Points of Order

– in the House of Commons at 4:28 pm on 24th March 2009.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Crispin Blunt Crispin Blunt Shadow Minister (Home Affairs) 4:28 pm, 24th March 2009

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. You will have heard the point that my hon. Chris Grayling made about the handling of the "Pursue, Prevent, Protect, Prepare" document at the beginning of his questions to the Home Secretary, and the points made by Chris Huhne. I want to commend a young researcher of mine, Ruth Davis, who examined the larger version of the Order Paper and noted, in the Votes and Proceedings, that the paper had been laid before the House yesterday.

I attempted to get a copy from the Vote Office after 10 o'clock. The Clerk in the Vote Office informed my research assistant that a copy would not be available until the statement was made at 3.30 pm today, as the Vote Office had been told to release on instruction. An hour later, I returned to the Vote Office in Portcullis House, and copies were then available. I understood from later inquiries that the fact that the document had appeared in the Order Paper meant that it had been laid in the Journal Office yesterday, but only one copy was available there for Members, in the unlikely event that they were aware that it was there. There was no mechanism to make Members aware that the document was available in the House yesterday. The whole exercise is plainly unsatisfactory. Can it be improved?

Watch this
Embed this video

Copy and paste this code on your website

Hide

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 always want to make sure that hon. Members—Front-Bench and, of course, Back-Benchers—get information as soon as that information is published. I ask the hon. Gentleman to allow me to look into the matter and get back to him. That is the best thing I can do.

Watch this

Photo of Bill Cash Bill Cash Conservative, Stone

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I have tabled a number of named day questions to the Secretary of State for Health, which were supposed to be replied to today. They are highly relevant to the tragedy of the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, in particular on the question of a public inquiry and on protecting whistleblowers, which the Secretary of State said should be done. In the circumstances, may I please ask you to insist that my named day questions are answered today?

Watch this

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

This is a matter for the appropriate Minister, who will have heard what the hon. Gentleman said. I have no doubt that the hon. Gentleman, like his colleagues in the Staffordshire area, will pursue the matter in every way possible, and I will seek to help where I can. He has put the problem on the record.

Watch this

Photo of David Davis David Davis Conservative, Haltemprice and Howden

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Can you give the House guidance? Is it in order for the Secretary of State to deny the existence of information on the growth of the terrorist threat, when that information is published by her subordinate, the head of MI5?

Watch this