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Point of Order

Volume 511: debated on Tuesday 8 June 2010

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Yesterday, the Prime Minister said that the coming spending review was going to change our whole way of life and that today the Chancellor and Chief Secretary would publish a framework for this year’s spending review. I am not seeking to reopen your decision in relation to my request for an urgent question, and I would normally have expected a statement in the House from the Chancellor in relation to what I took to be an important document. I understand that his argument is that he will be able to speak in the Queen’s Speech debate; the problem is that because of the order of speakers, he speaks after me. In fairness to him, he did offer to let me have a copy of the document at 2 o’clock, but sadly it did not get to me until I was just walking into the Chamber.

Given what you said on your re-election, Mr Speaker, I really think that it would be far better, especially on matters as important as this, if the Chancellor, as well as other Ministers, were prepared to come to the House and defend the decisions that they are taking. As it is, I have had a quick look through the document, and there does not seem to be very much substance in it at all, which may be why the Chancellor decided not to give a statement. But the principle is an important one.

I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for his point of order. If I were uncharitable, I would think that he was in some sense seeking to continue an earlier debate—but I am not, so I assume that he is not. My judgment is that the matter in question, which is extremely important, can be debated very fully today. However, I trust that any major announcement to be made in due course, on this or any other matter, will be made first in the House.