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Speaker’s Statement

Volume 477: debated on Monday 9 June 2008

I wish to make a statement about the distribution of copies of ministerial statements, about which points of order and other representations have been made in recent days.

Since 2003, in the interests of accurate reporting, I have allowed copies of ministerial statements to be distributed discreetly in the Press Gallery when Ministers rise to make statements. Since it is clear that this arrangement is not operating as intended, in fairness to Members I have now decided that statements will be distributed to Members and the Gallery at the same time—when Ministers sit down. That does not interfere with Ministers’ discretion to release statements to Opposition Front Benchers on the usual Privy Council terms. This will be in line with the recommendation of the report of the Modernisation Committee approved by the House in 2002.