Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:07 pm on 7th January 2010.

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Photo of David Heath David Heath Shadow Leader of the House of Commons 12:07 pm, 7th January 2010

One of the Members of Parliament who participated in the debate in Westminster Hall that the Leader of the House mentioned was David Taylor. He intervened when I was making my comments, and within a few moments of having made his intervention he passed me a note thanking me for allowing him to contribute. That was typical of the courtesy of the man and his ever-presence and value to the House. He will be very much missed.

On the Wright Committee report, this simply will not do. There is only one thing that the Government have to do: take the page of the report that contains the draft motion and put it on the Order Paper. Nothing else is needed. The Leader of the House says that she is facilitating matters, but she is doing so exceedingly slowly. I ask her to hurry up and simply put that motion before the House, and then I hope we can make progress.

When can we expect a debate on the special report from the Information Commissioner following the veto by the Secretary of State for Justice of the release of Government papers, in contravention of the Information Commissioner's decision and prior to a tribunal hearing? That is unprecedented, and it is necessary for that report, which is to the House, not the Government, to be debated, and for the Secretary of State to justify his actions. When will that happen?

May we have a statement from the Health Secretary on the intention from the beginning of the next financial year to consolidate the assets of hospital charities into the general NHS budget? That is very much resented by those who work tirelessly to raise funds in support of their local hospital. It cannot be right that it is going to happen, and I hope that the House will have the opportunity to express an opinion on it.

May we have a statement from the Chancellor of the Exchequer in due course on the supervisory review of the failed banks by the Financial Services Authority? There is some suggestion that it will not even published, which I hope is not the case. I hope that the Government can assure the House that it will be published and that a statement will be made in the House about its contents, because it is of absolute importance that we understand why the banks got this country into the mess that it is in and that we can assign responsibility appropriately.

Lastly, may we have a statement in due course on bilateral relations between the United Kingdom and Iceland, because there is clearly a full-scale constitutional crisis in that country as well as an economic one? That has huge ramifications for the United Kingdom, not least for the £830 million of taxpayers' money from local authorities that is still to be recovered from that small country with its enormous debts. May we have a clarification from the Government as to what the position is at the earliest opportunity and an opportunity to debate the matter?

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