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Point of Order

Volume 603: debated on Thursday 10 December 2015

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. This morning at Transport Questions, in response to my question about airport expansion, the Secretary of State stated that “when an announcement is to be made, I will make it in the House.” However, it has also been reported that there will be a press conference setting out the Government’s new position later this evening. Is it in order for the Transport Secretary to commit to making a statement in this House first, only to proceed to announce the policy in the press when the House is not sitting? At the very least, would it not be a great discourtesy to the House to do that?

The short answer to the hon. Lady is that if the Government have an announcement to make—whether of a final decision, as they see it, on this matter or appertaining to that final decision and describing the process to be undertaken and the specified period in which it will be undertaken—it should be disclosed to the House first so that hon. and right hon. Members can have an opportunity to question the Secretary of State. He is an extremely experienced Minister and a very experienced Member of Parliament, and he is well able, as he regularly demonstrates, to fend for himself at the Dispatch Box. These matters should be treated of in this Chamber and not somewhere else. It is blindingly obvious that that is the wish of the House today, and I feel sure that the Leader of the House will communicate that as necessary.