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Point of Order

Volume 572: debated on Wednesday 18 December 2013

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Possibly in anticipation of the fact that I had a question today on the post office network, I received a message—it was not in my e-mail and I could not find it on my computer; it came through my mobile device—from the Minister with responsibility for postal services, the Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, the hon. Member for East Dunbartonshire (Jo Swinson). It said that it was going to all MPs and explained that she was having to put £640 million extra into the network reorganisation fund, on top of the £1.34 billion that was already there. My point of order relates to the fact that this did not come through my computer and it was not in today’s written statement from BIS. If she is going to give a statement like that telling all MPs about a massive spending increase because of a shortfall and the failure of her policies, which are destroying the post office network, is she not obliged to do so in a formal written statement or here at the Dispatch Box?

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his point of order. Certainly it would be incumbent on the Minister to find a way of disseminating that information to Members of the House other than by purely electronic means. If that did not happen, I understand that there may be some disappointment on that front. It is not something I can pursue further today, but in response to his inquiry I think I have put the point clearly on the record as to what ordinarily is expected. [Interruption.] The hon. Gentleman is gesticulating from a sedentary position—some people are never satisfied. The inquiry has been made, the answer has been given and that is the end of the situation.

Royal Assent

I have to notify the House, in accordance with the Royal Assent Act 1967, that the Queen has signified her Royal Assent to the following Acts:

Energy Act 2013

Financial Services (Banking Reform) Act 2013

London Local Authorities and Transport for London Act 2013

Humber Bridge Act 2013

City of London (Various Powers) Act 2013.