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Point of Order

Volume 635: debated on Wednesday 31 January 2018

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Yesterday, in the National Assembly for Wales, when my constituency colleague Adam Price asked for a vote on the Labour Welsh Government’s plans to potentially close hospitals in Carmarthenshire, the First Minister misled the Assembly and Assembly Members, and in doing so provided details of correspondence between the local health board and my constituency office. He claimed that our office has made no effort to engage with the health board over this issue.

I first became aware of the proposed closure plans on 18 January this year, following a panic email from Mr Steve Moore, chief executive of the Hywel Dda University Health Board, in which he explained that the closure plans had been leaked and were due to appear in the local press imminently. Our office replied on 19 January, asking for an urgent meeting. Although I do not expect you to comment on health policy in Wales, Mr Speaker, or indeed the manner in which the Labour Government of my country harvest information from public bodies in order to smear opponents, I would be grateful if you could say what advice you would give MPs who may find their data protection rights breached by a public body and how I could put on the record a correction of the comments by the First Minister.

I thank the hon. Member for his characteristic courtesy in giving me advance notice of his intention to raise this point of order. It is not my role, I am very pleased to say, to pass judgment on matters before the National Assembly for Wales. That said—the hon. Gentleman in in pursuit of advice—if he believes that there has been a breach of data protection requirements, he should most certainly raise the matter with the Information Commissioner. We will leave that matter there for now.