Skip to main content

Statements

Volume 584: debated on Thursday 10 July 2014

1. What recent guidance he has given to his ministerial colleagues on making statements to the House before they are made to the media. (904788)

The ministerial code is clear: when Parliament is in session, the most important announcements of Government policy should be made to Parliament in the first instance, and I regularly remind my colleagues of that.

Does the Leader of the House think that it is acceptable that the media are reporting that the Government have paused the proposed sale of the Land Registry when the Business Secretary has not yet made a statement to the House?

I am not aware of the media reports to which the hon. Lady refers. I will, of course, look at them, but as far as I am concerned announcements are made to the House first. I cannot always preclude speculation in the press, which is sometimes well informed and sometimes very badly informed. I do not necessarily reach the same conclusion, but I will ensure that I let her know what the situation is.

That is all very well, but the Leader of the House has eight minutes and 14 seconds to tell the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister that they should not be making a speech to the media about their intention to legislate next week before a speech is made to this House.

The hon. Gentleman will know, and the House will have seen, that the Home Secretary will be making a statement. Indeed, I will be making a business statement, too. Sometimes it is necessary for the public to be told at what is, effectively, broadly the same time as Parliament itself.