Point of Order

– in the House of Commons at 11:14 am on 4th June 2015.

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Photo of Andy Burnham Andy Burnham Shadow Secretary of State for Health 11:14 am, 4th June 2015

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. I apologise for testing your patience; I would not have done so were it not an important matter. During the previous exchange, news reached me that the Secretary of State is in Liverpool announcing the scrapping of the 18-week target, presumably because the Government know they can no longer meet it. I was not in business questions, but I am led to believe that the Leader of the House said that Ministers should always make major announcements to this House, and that he had indeed reminded them of their duty to do so. What advice could you give me about making sure that this edict sticks? Also, before the Minister leaves his place, should he not confirm to this House whether the 18-week target is indeed to be scrapped?

Photo of John Bercow John Bercow Chair, Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, Speaker of the House of Commons, Chair, Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, Speaker of the House of Commons

There are three points to make. First, the right hon. Gentleman has expressed his concern forcefully in his own way, and it is on the record. Secondly, it would not be appropriate to ask the Minister to respond, because we cannot have interrogation through point of order and the continuation of debate. Thirdly, I can reassure the right hon. Gentleman on one point: he has not missed anything said on this matter at today’s business questions for the very simple reason that business questions is about to happen—so he was perhaps ahead of himself. He has made his point and it is on the record, and we will now proceed to business questions.