Correcting the Record

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:35 pm on 24 October 2023.

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Photo of James Sunderland James Sunderland Chair, Select Committee on the Armed Forces Bill 4:35, 24 October 2023

The technical detail of how this will work is yet to be thrashed out, but I have no doubt it will be subject to further work between the Procedure Committee and the House authorities.

As I have said, the visibility of any corrections will be improved in the official record and the exact mechanism for that is being worked through. It is, for example, possible that the format of cross-referenced hyperlinks in Hansard will be improved so that they are much clearer, whether in relation to a point of order or through other oral contributions. Thirdly, there will also be an easily accessible corrections page, probably on the parliamentary website, and linked elsewhere, where anyone will be able to see a bespoke record of parliamentary corrections.

While we believe that existing mechanisms to challenge the accuracy of contributions made in the House are sufficient, and that understanding those mechanisms can assist Members in effectively and creatively challenging accuracy, these improvements are necessary. Importantly, the Procedure Committee does not believe that distinction between Ministers and non-Ministers justifies any difference in the means by which Back Benchers may seek to correct themselves when they discover that they have made an error. We have therefore concluded that the rules should apply equally to all MPs.