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Speaker’s Statement

Volume 711: debated on Tuesday 22 March 2022

Before the urgent question, I wish to make a short statement about the sub judice resolution. I have been advised that there are relevant active legal proceedings in the Court of Appeal. I am exercising the discretion given to the Chair in respect of matters sub judice to allow reference to these proceedings, as they may concern issues of national importance. However, I urge Members to exercise caution in what they say and to avoid referring in detail to cases that remain before the Court of Appeal.

While I do not have to give any reason for accepting or declining a request for an urgent question, I wish to be clear that one of the reasons that I decided to allow a brief exchange on the issue today is that, last night, Sky News seemed to be reporting developments on this—it was apparently well briefed—and I understand the Minister was also available for comment this morning, before this House was informed.

We have been through this issue again and again. I do not want this to happen again. Please, respect the House; respect the Back Benchers. They have been elected to hear things here—so please, Ministers, show due respect to Back Benchers. The Government know my views about telling the House policy developments first. I will continue to grant UQs if I think that has not happened.