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Point of Order

Volume 597: debated on Wednesday 24 June 2015

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. On Monday, I asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions why he was refusing to publish information about the number of people who had died within six weeks of claiming incapacity benefit or employment and support allowance,

“including those who have been found fit for work”,

although he had been ordered to do so by the Information Commissioner on 30 April. The Secretary of State replied:

“She knows very well that the Department does not collate numbers on people in that circumstance.”—[Official Report, 22 June 2015; Vol. 597, c. 611.]

His statement was in direct contradiction of his own Department’s submission to the Information Commissioner, which stated that it did collate those data and had last published them in November 2011. I should be grateful for your guidance, Mr Speaker, on how we can correct the record and seek an explanation for the error. This happens too much, and it brings the House into disrepute.

I am grateful to the hon. Lady for her point of order and for giving me notice of her intention to raise it. If there is an inconsistency between what she has been told in the Chamber and what has been said elsewhere by the Government, and if that is a matter of fact, it will be apparent to Ministers, who are responsible for the accuracy of what they say, and, in the event of inaccuracy, for ensuring it is corrected. I cannot say more than that today, but the hon. Lady has made the point with crystal clarity; it is on the record, and it will have been heard by Ministers. I think that she should, at this stage, await events.

Bills Presented

Assisted Dying (No. 2) Bill

Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

Rob Marris, supported by Crispin Blunt, Heidi Alexander, Lucy Allan, Jim Fitzpatrick, Paul Flynn, Norman Lamb, Karin Smyth and Stephen Twigg, presented a Bill to enable competent adults who are terminally ill to choose to be provided with medically supervised assistance to end their own life; and for connected purposes.

Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 11 September, and to be printed (Bill 7).

Access to Medical Treatments (Innovation) Bill

Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

Chris Heaton-Harris presented a Bill to make provision for access to innovative medical treatments; and for connected purposes.

Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 16 October, and to be printed (Bill 8).

Defence Expenditure (NATO Target) Bill

Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

Sir Gerald Howarth presented a Bill to make provision about the meeting by the UK of the NATO target for defence expenditure in each member state to constitute not less than 2 per cent of gross domestic product; to make provision for verification that NATO’s criteria for defence expenditure are met in calculating the UK’s performance against this target; and for connected purposes.

Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 23 October, and to be printed (Bill 9).

Hospital Parking Charges (Exemption for Carers) Bill

Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

Julie Cooper presented a Bill to make provision for exempting carers from hospital car parking charges; and for connected purposes.

Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 30 October, and to be printed (Bill 10).

NHS (Charitable Trusts Etc) Bill

Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

Wendy Morton, supported by Mr Adrian Bailey, Neil Carmichael, Maria Caulfield, Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, Mr Nigel Evans, Jeremy Lefroy, Stephen Pound, Mary Robinson, Mr Barry Sheerman, Keir Starmer and John Stevenson, presented a Bill to make provision for, and in connection with, the removal of the Secretary of State’s powers under the National Health Service Act 2006 to appoint trustees; to make provision transferring to Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity the right to a royalty conferred by Schedule 6 to the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988; and for connected purposes.

Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 6 November, and to be printed (Bill 11).

Compulsory Emergency First Aid Education (State-funded Secondary Schools)

Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

Teresa Pearce, supported by Sir David Amess, Dr Roberta Blackman-Woods, Dawn Butler, Thangam Debbonaire, Mr Nigel Dodds, Bill Esterson, Mr Philip Hollobone, Jason McCartney, John McDonnell, John Pugh and Mr John Spellar, presented a Bill to require the provision of Emergency First Aid (EFA) education by all state-funded secondary schools; to require that EFA education include cardiopulmonary resuscitation and defibrillator awareness; to provide for initial and continuing teacher education and guidance on best practice for delivering and inspecting EFA education; and for connected purposes.

Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 20 November, and to be printed (Bill 12).

Riot Compensation Bill

Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

Mike Wood, supported by Mrs Cheryl Gillan, Byron Davies, Chris Heaton-Harris, James Morris, Andrew Griffiths, Craig Tracey, Nigel Mills, Amanda Milling, Simon Hoare, William Wragg and Wendy Morton, presented a Bill to repeal the Riot (Damages) Act 1886 and make provision about types of claims, procedures, decision-making and limits on awards payable in relation to a new compensation scheme for property damaged, destroyed or stolen in the course of riots.

Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 4 December, and to be printed (Bill 13).

Off-patent Drugs Bill

Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

Nick Thomas-Symonds, supported by Dan Jarvis, Dr Liam Fox, Liz Saville Roberts, Dr Phillip Lee, Dame Angela Watkinson, John Healey, Jessica Morden, Mr David Nuttall, Carolyn Harris, Robert Neill and Glyn Davies, presented a Bill to require the Secretary of State to seek licences for off-patent drugs in new indications; to require the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence to conduct technology appraisals for off-patent drugs in new indications; and for connected purposes.

Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 6 November, and to be printed (Bill 14).

Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill

Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

Ms Karen Buck, supported by Kate Green, Jack Dromey, Matthew Pennycook, Emily Thornberry, Andy Slaughter, Mr Gordon Marsden, John Pugh, Lyn Brown, Rushanara Ali, Clive Efford and Fiona Mactaggart, presented a Bill to amend the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 to require that residential rented accommodation is provided and maintained in a state of fitness for human habitation; and for connected purposes.

Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 16 October, and to be printed (Bill 15).

Pavement Parking (Protection of Vulnerable Pedestrians) Bill

Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

Simon Hoare, supported by Mrs Cheryl Gillan, Scott Mann, Johnny Mercer, Bob Stewart, Wendy Morton, Craig Williams, Richard Burgon, Stephen Twigg, Caroline Lucas, Robert Flello and Mr Clive Betts, presented a Bill to make powers available to highway authorities to make further provision for the safety, convenience and free movement on pavements of disabled people, older people, people accompanying young children and other vulnerable pedestrians; to clarify, strengthen and simplify the law relating to parking on pavements in England and Wales; and for connected purposes.

Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 4 December, and to be printed (Bill 16).

Local Government Finance (Tenure Information) Bill

Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

Dame Angela Watkinson, supported by Sir David Amess, Bob Blackman, Lyn Brown, Meg Hillier, Mr Stewart Jackson, Boris Johnson, Charlotte Leslie, Paul Maynard, Mark Menzies, Bob Stewart and Mr Mark Prisk, presented a Bill to amend the Local Government Finance Act 1992 to make provision for collecting information about tenure and the details of private landlords; and for connected purposes.

Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 30 October, and to be printed (Bill 17).

On-demand Audiovisual Services (Accessiblity for People with Disabilities affecting Hearing or Sight or both) Bill

Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

Lilian Greenwood, supported by Peter Aldous, Sir Peter Bottomley, Neil Carmichael, Rosie Cooper, Kate Green, Norman Lamb, Mr Ian Liddell-Grainger, Ian Mearns, Jim Shannon, Ruth Smeeth and Dr Eilidh Whiteford, presented a Bill to require the appropriate regulatory authority of on-demand audiovisual programme services to draw up a Code relating to the provision of subtitles, signing and audio-description for persons with disabilities affecting their hearing or their sight or both; to require the appropriate regulatory authority to consult before issuing any such Code; to make provision for minimum requirements to be included in the Code; to require that on-demand programme services providers observe the requirements of the Code; to provide for regular consultation about and review of the minimum requirements; and for connected purposes.

Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 20 November, and to be printed (Bill 18).

Highways (Improvement, Traffic Regulation and Traffic Management) Bill

Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

Sir William Cash presented a Bill to make provision for the prioritisation of maintenance of unclassified roads; the management of heavy commercial vehicle traffic; the regulation of the use of certain roads by such vehicles; and for connected purposes.

Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 6 November, and to be printed (Bill 19).

Criminal Cases Review Commission (Information) Bill

Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

William Wragg, supported by John Howell, Mr Peter Bone, James Davies, Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell, Keith Vaz, Mr Graham Brady, James Berry, Dr Liam Fox, Dr Tania Mathias and Seema Kennedy, presented a Bill to extend the Criminal Cases Review Commission’s powers to obtain information.

Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 4 December, and to be printed (Bill 20).

Higher Education (Information) Bill

Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

Heidi Allen, supported by Sir Oliver Heald, Mr Jonathan Djanogly, Kevin Hollinrake, Oliver Colvile, Mr David Burrowes, Daniel Zeichner, Caroline Ansell and Victoria Prentis, presented a Bill to require information to be made available to prospective undergraduate students about what is provided to students for the tuition fees charged, how tuition fee resources are expended and what is expected of students; to establish transparency in how tuition fees are spent; and for connected purposes.

Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 23 October, and to be printed (Bill 21).

Representation of the People (Young Persons’ Enfranchisement and Education) Bill

Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

Vicky Foxcroft, supported by Ms Mhairi Black, John Pugh, Justin Madders, Ruth Smeeth, Keith Vaz, Clive Lewis, Ian Mearns, Conor McGinn, Tulip Siddiq, Stephen Kinnock and Caroline Lucas, presented a Bill to reduce the voting age to 16 in general elections, elections to the Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales, the Northern Ireland Assembly and the European Parliament, local government elections and referendums; to make provision about young people’s education in citizenship and the constitution; and for connected purposes.

Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 11 September, and to be printed (Bill 22).

Crown Tenancies Bill

Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

Mark Pawsey, supported by Andrew Bingham, Graham Evans, Oliver Colvile, Jeremy Lefroy, Jack Lopresti, Karen Lumley, Jason McCartney, James Morris, Wendy Morton, David Mowat and Craig Tracey, presented a Bill to provide that Crown tenancies may be assured tenancies for the purposes of the Housing Act 1988, subject to certain exceptions; to modify the assured tenancies regime in relation to certain Crown tenancies; and for connected purposes.

Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 11 September, and to be printed (Bill 23).

Mental Health (Independent Advocacy) (England) Bill

Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

Mr Geoffrey Cox, supported by Stephen Hammond, Mr Charles Walker, Mrs Sheryll Murray, Stephen Phillips, Oliver Colvile, Mr Nigel Evans, Daniel Kawczynski and Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, presented a Bill to amend the Mental Health Act 1983 to make further provision for powers and responsibilities of independent mental health advocates for qualifying patients in England; and for connected purposes.

Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 20 November, and to be printed (Bill 24).

Health and Safety Executive (Powers) Bill

Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

James Cleverly presented a Bill to confer further powers on the Health and Safety Executive.

Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 16 October, and to be printed (Bill 25).

Assessment of Government Policies (Impact on Families) Bill

Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

Caroline Ansell, supported by Mr David Burrowes, Mrs Anne Main, Mary Glindon, Richard Graham, Fiona Bruce, Martin Vickers, Jeremy Lefroy, Mr Peter Bone, John Howell, James Cleverly and Jim Shannon, presented a Bill to require ministers to carry out an assessment of the impact of government policies on families by giving statutory effect to the family test; to place a duty on the Secretary of State to make a report on the costs and benefits of requiring local authorities to carry out equivalent tests on their policies; to require the Secretary of State to establish, and make an annual report on, indicators of and targets for the government’s performance in promoting family stability; and for connected purposes.

Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 4 December, and to be printed (Bill 26).