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Point of Order

Volume 549: debated on Thursday 6 September 2012

On a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. You may have noticed yesterday, when my hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow North West (John Robertson) was presenting his ten-minute rule Bill on pre-payment meters and levels of debt, that none of the three Energy and Climate Change Ministers was present on the Treasury Bench. Can you confirm that it is customary for an appropriate Minister to attend when a Bill to do with their Department is being presented? If that is the case, have you received an explanation or apology from any of the DECC Ministers for their non-attendance?

I can confirm that it is a courtesy for a relevant Minister to be present during a ten-minute rule Bill. However, I am sure that the House will want to be a little generous about what was going on yesterday, as there may have been some confusion as to who was doing what in Government Departments. In fact, I think I was the only person not waiting by my telephone yesterday.

I see there were a few others. I am sure that normal service will now be resumed.

Bill Presented

Infrastructure (Financial Assistance) Bill

Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 50)

Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, supported by the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, Secretary Vince Cable, Mr Secretary McLoughlin, Danny Alexander, Greg Clark, Mr David Gauke and Sajid Javid, presented a Bill to make provision in connection with the giving of financial assistance in respect of the provision of infrastructure.

Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time tomorrow, and to be printed (Bill 66) with explanatory notes (Bill 66-EN).