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Volume 536: debated on Friday 25 November 2011

[Mr Speaker in the Chair]

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. The Deputy Prime Minister has been expounding in the media today a new Government policy in a major announcement of billions of pounds being spent on getting people into work. There is allegedly a written statement, but I have not seen it and it was not available to Parliament at the start of the day. It seems to me, Mr Speaker, that that announcement should have been made first in the House and not to the media. Is there any further action I can take on this point?

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his point of order. I have seen no such written ministerial statement and at the time I came into the Chamber none was available. I note what the hon. Gentleman has said about media coverage and I reiterate the point I have repeatedly made from the Chair: statements of Government policy should be made first to the House of Commons. That is an obligation upon all Ministers, without exception. The hon. Gentleman is an experienced parliamentary hand and he will know that avenues are open to him to pursue this matter—if not today, on subsequent days. I hope that is clear and helpful.