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Points of Order

Volume 554: debated on Thursday 29 November 2012

On a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. There has been some concern about today’s Westminster Hall Select Committee on Welsh Affairs debate on inward investment in Wales. It did not appear on the Order Paper at any point this week until today and notification only came in the business statement on 8 November. Furthermore, there is concern that that important debate will clash with the Prime Minister making a statement on the Leveson report. Will you look into what went wrong concerning the debate, which is obviously important for the people of Wales?

The hon. Lady is absolutely right. It was an administrative error, which has been corrected, and we will certainly try to ensure that it does not happen again. The two debates would have taken place whether it was on the Order Paper or not, but the point is absolutely correct. It was an error—it was a mistake—and we must ensure that it does not happen again.

On a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. In a written ministerial statement on 9 November, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs stated that he had asked Professor Ian Boyd, DEFRA’s chief scientific adviser,

“to convene an expert taskforce on tree health and plant biosecurity.”

The Secretary of State said that he looked

“forward to seeing his interim proposals at the end of November”—[Official Report, 9 November 2012; Vol. 552, c. 50WS.]

He also said that he would update the House on receipt of them. Tomorrow is the last sitting day in November. It took Ministers five months from the point at which the presence of ash dieback in the country was identified to doing something about it and further delays cannot be tolerated. Have you received any indication from the Secretary of State that he intends to make a statement to the House today or tomorrow?

I have had no such indication and although the point is now on the record, it is not a point for the Chair, as the hon. Gentleman is aware.

Bill Presented

Energy Bill

Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

Mr Secretary Davey, supported by the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Secretary Hague, Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr Secretary Hammond, Secretary Vince Cable, Mr Secretary Pickles, Mr Secretary Paterson, Mr Oliver Letwin, Gregory Barker and Mr John Hayes, presented a Bill to make provision for or in connection with reforming the electricity market for purposes of encouraging low carbon electricity generation or ensuring security of supply; for the establishment and functions of the Office for Nuclear Regulation; about the government pipe-line and storage system and rights exercisable in relation to it; about the designation of a strategy and policy statement; for the making of orders requiring regulated persons to provide redress to consumers of gas or electricity; about offshore transmission of electricity during a commissioning period; for imposing further fees in respect of nuclear decommissioning costs; and for connected purposes.

Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time tomorrow, and to be printed (Bill 100) with explanatory notes (Bill 100-EN).