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Oral Statements

Volume 473: debated on Thursday 20 March 2008

26. What the criteria are for deciding to announce Government policy by means of an oral statement; and if she will make a statement. (195470)

In deciding whether to make an oral statement to announce Government policy, the Government will take into account the importance of the issue and the other business before the House.

Has the Deputy Leader of the House or the Leader of the House ever had cause to speak to the Home Secretary, since she entered the Cabinet, to discuss the methods employed by the Home Office to announce policies?

We do discuss with Ministers how oral statements are made, to ensure that the House is kept properly informed of policy developments.

If my hon. Friend is talking to Ministers about statements, she could emphasise to them that they are better made in the House than on the “Today” programme.

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. I do not know whether he is aware of the fact that in the 70 sitting days of this Session, there have been 39 oral statements, and that we gave notice of 20 of those. That means that 20 were flagged up on the Order Paper. Obviously, that leads to media stories and speculation, which are clearly outside the Government’s control.