Skip to main content

Points of Order

Volume 559: debated on Monday 4 March 2013

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Over the last few days, there has been widespread Government briefing about the contents of the impending United Kingdom defence basing review, on which we expect a statement in the House at some point this week. Will you please clarify, Mr. Speaker, whether it is appropriate for newspapers to be briefed in detail by the Government before the House is, especially on such an important subject?

I am not familiar with the reports to which the hon. Gentleman has referred, but suffice it to say that ministerial statements of public policy should be made first in the House. If the hon. Gentleman has compelling evidence to the contrary and wishes it to be brought to a wider audience, I suspect that he will require no further encouragement from me.

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. The Minister of State has just said that there will be a statement from the Foreign Secretary this week. Would it have been in order for him to tell the House on which day it would be made? [Hon. Members: “He did.”] Would it be possible for my hearing to be improved, Mr. Speaker?

My hunch is that—if I remember correctly, either from what emerged from the lips of the Minister of State or from information from my own usual channels—the intended date is Wednesday this week.

The Minister is nodding, which is encouraging both to me and to the hon. Member for Wellingborough (Mr Bone). I do not think that the hon. Gentleman’s hearing requires any improvement.