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Points of Order

Volume 578: debated on Thursday 3 April 2014

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. During the earlier ministerial statement on standardised packaging of tobacco products, I omitted to draw to the attention of the House my entry in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests. I do so now.

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. Yesterday, the Government chief scientist, Sir Mark Walport, spoke to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee in which he referred to the principles of scientific advice to Government, which applies to Ministers and Government Departments, all members of scientific advisory committees and councils and so on. The advice specifically says:

“Scientific advice to Government should be made publicly available unless there are overriding reasons, such as national security or the facilitation of a crime, for not doing so.”

In light of the earlier comments, Madam Deputy Speaker, would you use your good offices to bring this to the attention of the Treasury Benches?

May I say to the hon. Gentleman that he has been very effective himself in drawing the matter to the notice of the Treasury Benches? It is not a point of order for the Chair, but possibly a matter for a fascinating discussion on the Floor of the House on how to implement the advice, which is also not in the gift of the Chair. We should therefore now move on.