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Point of Order

Volume 461: debated on Tuesday 12 June 2007

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Yesterday I raised with you an issue concerning the Ministry of Defence not answering a named-day question. I thank you for your work in ensuring that I will at least get an answer today. I understand that the Minister of State signed off the answer on his way to Brize Norton last night.

Unfortunately, I have to draw to your attention another lapse by the Ministry of Defence, to which I drew the notice of the Under-Secretary of State for Defence, the hon. Member for Halton (Derek Twigg), this morning. Yesterday, the MOD published a news release about the extension of the medical assessment programme and briefed the media. It was only today that the Under-Secretary thought it appropriate to publish a written statement to Parliament. What can be done to make sure that the Ministry of Defence takes seriously its responsibilities to this House before it publishes information to the media?

I thank the hon. Gentleman for raising the matter. I will have to inquire whether this concerned a new policy. The press can be briefed on an old policy, but I shall find out why the press found out before the hon. Gentleman.