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Point of Order

Volume 717: debated on Thursday 7 July 2022

On a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. We have had two urgent questions today where Ministers have come to the Dispatch Box and told us that they have no knowledge of the things that they are meant to be answering on, which completely undermines the point of having UQs. Certainly, when I was a Government Minister, I would not have thought of coming to the House of Commons and merely saying, “Oh, I don’t know. Nobody’s told me. I don’t know what the information is.” I know that the Chair does not have any say on the content of ministerial responses, but that seems to be a sinking of standards to such an extent that UQs are becoming a laughing stock. That surely cannot be right for the accountability of Government Ministers to this place.

I thank Dame Angela for her point of order. As she has stated, the Chair is not responsible for the content of responses or who gives responses. I suspect that the only thing I can say is that we have lived in interesting and exceptional times over the last 48 hours. I am sure that those on the Treasury Bench have heard exactly what she has said and will get that through to the relevant Government Departments.

Supply and Appropriation (Main Estimates) Bill

Motion made, and Question put forthwith (Standing Order No. 56), That the Bill

be now read a Second time.

Question agreed to.

Bill accordingly read a Second time.

Question put forthwith, That the Bill be now read the Third time.

Question agreed to.

Bill accordingly read the Third time and passed.