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Point of Order

Volume 613: debated on Wednesday 13 July 2016

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. In light of the Prime Minister’s announcement during Prime Minister’s Question Time about financial support for people who received contaminated blood from the NHS in years gone by, would it be in order for you, Mr Speaker, to seek a Minister to come to the House to give further details? Many Members from all parts of the House have been concerned about the issue for many years. It is welcome that the Prime Minister said the Government have reached a conclusion and will now bring forward and implement proposals, but it would be very helpful for all Members to have an opportunity to question a Health Minister on the actual implications of what has been announced today. I understand that a Minister has indicated, in an email sent to me at 12.26 pm today, that she intends to make a written statement to the House tomorrow. However, in light of the overwhelming interest in all parts of the House, a Minister appearing at the Dispatch Box would be much more helpful to Members of Parliament.

I thank the hon. Lady for her point of order. She has devoted close attention to this issue and raised it many times in the House, not least, if memory serves me correctly, on 26 March 2015, to give but one example. I think it is only fair to say to her that tomorrow is likely to be heavily subscribed, being the second day of the two-day debate on the Iraq inquiry, so I suspend judgment on whether tomorrow is necessarily the best day for the purpose. However, I am happy to say to her that from my vantage point, and knowing the extent and breadth of interest in the issue across the House, I think it would show a sensitivity to parliamentary feeling if there were an oral statement, rather than merely a written statement. I hope that that is helpful and constitutes an answer in the mind of the hon. Lady.