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Points of Order

Volume 483: debated on Monday 24 November 2008

Order. Will Members leaving the Chamber please do so quickly and quietly, so that I can hear the point of order?

Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. You will be aware of the confusion, caused by the statement by the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families in this place last Thursday, about access to the serious case review in the case of Baby P.

Order. Has the hon. Gentleman informed the Secretary of State about the comment that he is about to make?

I have, Madam Deputy Speaker. You will also be aware that on Friday morning the Information Commissioner released a statement distancing himself from the impression given by the Secretary of State’s statement; the commissioner followed that up with a letter published today in The Times. May I ask you what can be done to encourage the Secretary of State to clarify the confusion and approach the commissioner to establish whether a copy of the serious case review can now be made available to the public—with the relevant personal information removed, if necessary?

Ministerial replies are, of course, the responsibility of the Minister in question, and certainly not of the Chair. What the hon. Gentleman has said is now on the record, and I think that that will lead to the clarification that he seeks.

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. The Chancellor’s statement was widely reported in the media before it was made. Will you advise on whether the statement should have been kept secret and given to Members first?

The hon. Gentleman has heard Mr. Speaker make comments about such issues in the past. I certainly do not know who was responsible for the leak, but it is clear that Mr. Speaker and the other occupants of the Chair like statements to be made here first.

PLANNING BILL (PROGRAMME) (No. 4)

Motion made, and Question put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 83A(7) (Programme motions),

That the following provisions shall apply to the Planning Bill for the purpose of supplementing the Orders of 10th December 2007, 2nd June 2008 and 25th June 2008 (Planning Bill (Programme), Planning Bill (Programme) (No. 2) and Planning Bill (Programme) (No. 3)):

Consideration of Lords Amendments

1. Proceedings on consideration of Lords Amendments shall (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a conclusion three hours after their commencement at this day’s sitting.

2. The Lords Amendments shall be considered in the following order, namely Nos. 115, 160, 1 to 114, 116 to 159, 161 to 217.

Subsequent stages

3. Any further Message from the Lords may be considered forthwith without any Question being put.

4. The proceedings on any further Message from the Lords shall (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a conclusion one hour after their commencement.—[Mr. Frank Roy.]