Points of Order

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:37 pm on 7th October 2020.

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Photo of Lindsay Hoyle Lindsay Hoyle Speaker of the House of Commons, Chair, Rt Hon Sir Lindsay Hoyle MP Committee, Chair, Rt Hon Sir Lindsay Hoyle MP Committee, Chair, Rt Hon Sir Lindsay Hoyle MP Committee, Chair, Rt Hon Sir Lindsay Hoyle MP Committee 12:37 pm, 7th October 2020

This comes on the back of what was said yesterday. I am getting very frustrated, and Members of Parliament are rightly getting frustrated, by the very late arrival of answers to questions—and in a lot of cases, Members are still waiting for them. It is totally unacceptable. We are the representatives of the electorate. We must get this message through to the Department. The hon. Lady’s frustration is shared. That is the worst part: this is not an isolated case.

I would say, however, that there are other ways; the hon. Lady could write to the Procedure Committee to explain her frustration. In the end, this affects all Members, not those on one particular side. That is the big issue. The people we represent want the answers. I would suggest that the hon. Lady writes to the Procedure Committee, but in the end the responsibility lies with the Department of Health and Social Care. It is for the Secretary of State to ensure that his Department is more proactive in the answering of letters. I understand that he may have a lot of questions put to him, but in the end—bring the extra staff in—they must be answered. I will ensure that this issue is taken up again with the Leader of the House, who I know is as frustrated as the hon. Lady’s good self and me.