On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. The very able and normally well-informed shadow Leader of the House, the hon. Member for Wallasey (Ms Eagle), quite inadvertently I am sure, misled the House earlier when she said that there had been a vote in the Backbench Business Committee on whether Back-Bench time could be provided for a debate on the health Bill. There was no such vote; the decision was agreed unanimously on the normal basis, and there was not a Tory majority at that meeting. How can I put the record right?
The hon. Member becomes more ingenious by the day at ensuring that his points are made in the Chamber, and I congratulate him on that. He knows that that is not a point of order, but he also knows—even though he is disappointed—that he has got his comments on the record, for which I am sure the entire House is grateful.
On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. On 13 October I wrote a letter on behalf of a local business to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills. However, despite numerous follow-up requests by my office, I received a response only the other day, saying that the matter was being transferred to another Department. What pressure can be brought to bear on Departments to address the inordinate length of time that it takes to respond to hon. Members?
I must admit that I share the hon. Gentleman’s disappointment at the delay in replying to him. The Leader of the House is in his place, and I am sure he will immediately take up the matter on behalf of the hon. Gentleman.
Private Pensions (Charges, Disclosure and Accountability) Bill
Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)
Mr Gareth Thomas presented a Bill to require firms offering regulated private pensions services to exercise a fiduciary duty of care to consumers and other users of financial services, to exercise due diligence when making decisions on behalf of consumers, to provide clear information to consumers on all charges and costs paid by the consumer or the pension fund on the consumer’s behalf and to disclose any conflict of interest and potential conflict of interest including commercial relationships that might result in or be perceived to result in financial detriment to consumers or undermine the integrity of financial markets; to make provision for disclosure by postcode of the location of investors in private pension funds; to make provision for an Annual General Meeting for each private pension fund; and for connected purposes.
Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 27 April, and to be printed (Bill 313).