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Speaker’s Statement

Volume 717: debated on Thursday 30 June 2022

I wish to record my deep, deep disappointment at the fact that the Minister for Crime and Policing yesterday failed to follow the usual procedures and chose to share an incomplete advance version of the statement with the Chairs and others. My office has compared the two versions; around 150 words were added to a 900-word statement. I note that the Minister returned to the House last night to apologise in general terms, but I do not think that is quite good enough. It was also suggested that it was late and therefore he could not give advance notice to others, but it seemed funny that Government Back Benchers had been given briefings on the questions that were missing, so it is totally not acceptable. I have to tell the House that he has still not apologised directly or personally to me.

I also look to the Leader of the House to confirm now that all Departments will be reminded by him not to repeat such discourteous behaviour. Back Benchers are here to hold the Government to account and not just on what the Government choose to be held to account on. There was nothing wrong in what the Minister for Crime and Policing said, but everybody should know what was going to be said.