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Points of Order

Volume 522: debated on Tuesday 1 February 2011

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Early in Foreign Office questions, the Foreign Secretary referred to a written statement that was tabled today. I went to the Vote Office during questions and tried to get a copy of that statement. It was not there. I was told that the Library had received it at 10.10 this morning, but that copies were not available in the Vote Office. Please can we ensure that Departments make sure that the Vote Office gets statements, particularly those that are referred to directly in the questions that are taking place at the time?

I thank the hon. Gentleman for his point of order. It has been characteristically courteously noted by the Foreign Secretary on the Front Bench. I am happy to look into the matter on this occasion.

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Last Thursday in Transport questions, I asked the Secretary of State for Transport whether the Government’s serious proposals concerning the coastguard were accompanied by a proper risk assessment. He replied:

“Of course the proposals have been risk-assessed.”—[Official Report, 27 January 2011; Vol. 522, c. 436.]

However, I was told in Stornoway yesterday and at a briefing in the House of Commons this afternoon by the chief executive of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency that no formal risk assessment has been done on the Government’s serious proposals for the reorganisation of the coastguard. Those proposals worry people in my constituency quite a lot, given the weather and the volume of traffic. Can we have the Secretary of State for Transport back in the House to clarify exactly what is happening and, with a bit of luck, to bring forward the risk assessment that he said had been done?

I thank the hon. Gentleman for his point of order. He has placed his concerns on the record. There are established procedures for the correction of ministerial statements or answers if and when it is necessary.