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Points of Order

Volume 476: debated on Tuesday 3 June 2008

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. My constituents are concerned about the Government’s proposals to introduce polyclinics, which will possibly see the closure of GP services throughout Shropshire and the borough of Telford and Wrekin. Given the anxiety of my constituents and those of other hon. Members, in all parts of the House, may I ask you what guidance, if any, you have been given by the Government business managers about an early oral statement on this important issue?

The Government business managers do not give me guidance; I give them guidance. However, the issue is not a matter for the Chair.

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I wonder whether I may make a pre-emptive strike. I understand that the Home Secretary and her Ministers will be available for the press and media after 4 o’clock to reveal the so-called concessions on the 42-day controversy. I have asked the Vote Office whether it has received any indication about the availability of those amendments and the answer is no—the expectation is tomorrow. Surely it is wrong that the press will be spun the line on those amendments before Members of Parliament have had a chance not only to examine them, but to comment and to rebut the arguments of that absurd policy.

What the hon. Gentleman has said is a pre-emptive strike: the situation has not happened yet and therefore I cannot rule on the matter. I will have to look into it if it does happen.

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Would it be possible for you to issue instructions to Government Departments and Ministers to the effect that if they produce a press briefing or press release, it should, at the very least, be put in the Vote Office at the same time as it is provided to journalists?