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Points of Order

Volume 516: debated on Tuesday 12 October 2010

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. The question of Government policy on elected mayors in 12 of our cities, including Birmingham, Coventry, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Sheffield, is an important matter for those cities. I know, Mr Speaker, that you want Government policy announcements to be made first to this House, rather than to the media. Is it in order, therefore, that the Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, the hon. Member for Bromley and Chislehurst (Robert Neill) has announced to the media the details of how the Government intend to put mayors in place in some of those cities? Should the Government not be making a statement on this matter to the House?

I am grateful to the hon. Lady for her point of order. I did not have previous notice of it, although I make no complaint about that—she is entirely within her rights. The safest thing for me to say is that I will look into the matter and revert to her and, if necessary, the House when I have completed my inquiries.

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. May I draw your attention to a very disappointing letter that Welsh Members received this week from the Secretary of State for Wales refusing our request to hold a Welsh Grand Committee on the constitutional implications for Wales of the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill? Will you please make representations to the Secretary of State to ensure that she understands how strongly Welsh Members feel about this critical issue?

I am not sure that it is for me to make representations, as the hon. Gentleman invites me to do. However, he has put his concern—indeed, his very clear dissatisfaction—on the record. I trust that it will have been heard, but whether that is the end of the matter remains to be seen. I think that we will leave it there for the time being, but I am grateful to him.