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Points of Order

Volume 497: debated on Thursday 22 October 2009

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I understand that you are looking at making arrangements for the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills to come here to answer questions. Will you include in your consideration the Secretary of State for Transport, as well? He does not answer questions here and does not come to our constituencies, so there is no way in which we can hold him publicly accountable for a major public service.

I am grateful to the hon. Lady for her point of order. The question of the accountability to this House of Ministers in the other place is indeed under active consideration. As the House would expect, if and when there is anything to report on that matter, the House will be the first to hear.

Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. Would you be happy to allow the noble Lord Mandelson to answer questions here, but standing beyond the Bar and not in the House?

Far be it from me to suggest that the hon. Gentleman is seeking to inveigle me into a wider exchange than would be proper. I can only refer him to the exchange I have just had with the hon. Member for Northampton, North (Ms Keeble). The matter is under active consideration; a view will be reached; the House will learn what that view and conclusion are; and therein will lie the answer to the detailed question posed by the hon. Gentleman.