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Clause 39 — Code of practice on local authority publicity

Part of Mental Health Outcomes (Measurement) – in the House of Commons at 4:15 pm on 17th December 2013.

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Photo of Brandon Lewis Brandon Lewis The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Communities and Local Government 4:15 pm, 17th December 2013

I suggest that the hon. Gentleman looks at Hansard for the reports of our proceedings in Committee, where we outlined the evidence—including from the Newspaper Society, which complained about exactly that issue—particularly, as was noted, in relation to Tower Hamlets.

Amendment 14 confuses the very clear and necessary provision that the Secretary of State may direct a local authority to comply with some or all of the publicity code. The amendment would achieve little in practice, as the Secretary of State may of course issue more than one individual direction. Amendment 15 would also be far from beneficial. It would add layers of complexity and bureaucracy to what should be a straightforward procedure to allow the Secretary of State rapidly to address incidences of the guidance in the code not being observed.