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Mr. Simon Thomas (Ceredigion): I warmly welcome the principles behind this plan for England and I hope that we shall see similar principles reflected in a short time in Wales. May I draw the attention of the Prime Minister and his hon. Friends to early-day motion 885, which deplores the lack of treatment for eating disorders in some areas of England and all of Wales? About 60,000 people a year, especially young women, suffer from eating disorders at any one time. There is a lack of specialist treatment throughout England. It is a postcode lottery. Can the Prime Minister confirm that the plan will end discrimination in England so that we can look forward to a similar thing happening in Wales?
Ms Julia Drown (South Swindon): I welcome the new NHS plan. It is a brave and radical plan. The reason why the Opposition respond with talk of leaks is that they were practised in that in government whereas they were not practised in understanding the NHS.
My right hon. Friend mentioned that primary care groups would move into primary care trusts. If a primary care group feels that it is best for patients that the PCG remains a group, will it be allowed to do so? He also talked about the importance of breaking down demarcations in the health service. Does the plan address the need to break down demarcations between health and social services so that all the people in the teams can meet people's needs as quickly and efficiently as possible, and so that we avoid the farce that many of our constituents face of being assessed once, twice or three times to obtain the basic care that they know they need?
The Prime Minister: On the first point, we want primary care groups over time to become trusts, as I think that many of them will want to do. I have detected in the groups to which I have spoken in the past few months an increasing enthusiasm for the idea of PCTs. They have seen in neighbouring areas that trusts have worked well, but obviously we have to work in consultation with the doctors.
As for budgets for social services, the important thing is that many of the matters to which my hon. Friend rightly refers and which greatly inconvenience people will disappear as a result of the new measures that we have
Mr. Eric Forth (Bromley and Chislehurst): On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. All hon. Members have received a letter this morning which sought to be helpful with regard to the election of a new Speaker on 23 October. The letter was helpful as far as it went. May I make a final plea that you, your colleagues and Madam Speaker to think again about whether the House may not, even at this late hour, be given guidance on the sequence of events and the basis on which that sequence will be decided?
I ask that, Mr. Deputy Speaker, because you will appreciate, as will all right hon. and hon. Members, that a knowledge by the electorate--namely, the Members of this House--of the sequence in which votes are likely to be held could have a crucial bearing not only on the candidatures but on Members' dispositions during the voting. If we do not have that knowledge, there is a great risk that the House will do itself a disservice by voting blindly without knowing the basis on which the sequence of events will be determined. May I make a plea that now, or certainly before 23 October, Members are given a great deal more information than they have been given today?
Mr. Deputy Speaker: The right hon. Gentleman will realise that I can add nothing to what has already been said in the statement, but I am sure that the authorities of the House have heard what he had to say.
Mr. Crispin Blunt (Reigate): On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. The scenes that we saw when the Prime Minister was not answering questions on his statement were a disgrace to the House. Is it in order for a Minister to come to the House, have the privilege of making a statement and fail to answer the questions put to him?
Mr. Clive Efford (Eltham): On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Can you advise me? Is it in order for the Leader of the Opposition to rely on items retrieved from rubbish bins in order to have anything to say from the Dispatch Box? Does it not degrade the House that Opposition Members have to rely on such tactics in order to have anything to say? Does it not confirm something that Labour Members have known for some time--that Conservative Members talk rubbish and--
Miss Julie Kirkbride (Bromsgrove): On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. We were all heartened by Madam Speaker's statement about the historic rights of the House to cross-examine the Executive. Yet we had the spectacle today of the Prime Minister coming to the House to make an important statement and being cross-examined by my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond, Yorks (Mr. Hague) with specific questions,
1. Proceedings on Consideration of Lords Amendments shall be completed at today's sitting and, if not previously concluded, shall be brought to a conclusion two hours after the commencement of proceedings on this Order.
2.--(1) This paragraph applies for the purpose of bringing proceedings to a conclusion in accordance with paragraph 1.
(2) The Speaker shall first put forthwith any Question which has been proposed from the Chair and not yet decided.
(3) If that Question is for the amendment of a Lords Amendment, the Speaker shall then put forthwith--
(a) a single Question on any further Amendments of the Lords Amendment moved by a Minister of the Crown, and
(b) the Question on any Motion made by a Minister of the Crown, That this House agrees or disagrees with the Lords in their Amendment or (as the case may be) in their Amendment as amended.
(4) The Speaker shall then put forthwith--
(a) a single Question on any Amendments moved by a Minister of the Crown to a Lords Amendment, and
(b) the Question on any Motion made by a Minister of the Crown, That this House agrees or disagrees with the Lords in the Amendment or (as the case may be) in their Amendment as amended.
(5) The Speaker shall then put forthwith the Question on any Motion made by a Minister of the Crown, That this House disagrees with the Lords in a Lords Amendment.
(6) The Speaker shall then put forthwith the Question, That this House agrees with the Lords in all the remaining Lords Amendments.
(7) As soon as the House has agreed or disagreed with the Lords in any of their Amendments, or disposed of an Amendment relevant to a Lords Amendment which has been disagreed to, the Speaker shall put forthwith a single Question on any Amendments moved by a Minister of the Crown relevant to the Lords Amendment.
3.--(1) The Speaker shall put forthwith the Question on any Motion made by a Minister of the Crown for the consideration forthwith of any further Message from the Lords on the Bill.
(2) The proceedings on any further Message from the Lords shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion one hour after their commencement.
(3) Sub-paragraphs (4) to (7) apply for the purpose of bringing those proceedings to a conclusion.
(4) The Speaker shall first put forthwith any Question which has been proposed from the Chair and not yet decided.
(5) The Speaker shall then put forthwith the Question on any Motion made by a Minister of the Crown which is related to the Question already proposed from the Chair.
(6) The Speaker shall then put forthwith the Question on any Motion made by a Minister of the Crown on or relevant to any of the remaining items in the Lords Message.
(7) The Speaker shall then put forthwith the Question, That this House agrees with the Lords in all the remaining Lords Proposals.
4. The Speaker shall put forthwith the Question on any Motion made by a Minister of the Crown for the appointment, nomination and quorum of a Committee to draw up Reasons and the appointment of its Chairman.
5.--(1) A Committee appointed to draw up Reasons shall report before the conclusion of the sitting at which it is appointed.
(2) Proceedings in the Committee shall, if not previously brought to a conclusion, be brought to a conclusion 30 minutes after their commencement.
(3) For the purpose of bringing any proceedings to a conclusion in accordance with sub-paragraph (2) the Chairman shall--
(a) first put forthwith any Question which has been proposed from the Chair and not yet decided; and
(b) then put forthwith successively Questions on Motions which may be made by a Minister of the Crown for assigning a Reason for disagreeing with the Lords in any of their Amendments.
(4) The proceedings of the Committee shall be reported without any further Question being put.
6. If the House is adjourned, or the sitting is suspended, before the expiry of the period at the end of which proceedings are to be brought to a conclusion under this Order, no notice shall be required of a Motion made at the next sitting by a Minister of the Crown for varying or supplementing the provision of this Order.
7.--(1) In this paragraph "the proceedings" means proceedings on Consideration of Lords Amendments and on any further Message from the Lords on the Bill.
(2) Standing Order No. 15(1) (Exempted business) shall apply to the proceedings.
(3) The proceedings shall not be interrupted under any Standing Order relating to the sittings of the House.
(4) No dilatory Motion with respect to, or in the course of, the proceedings shall be made except by a Minister of the Crown; and the Question on any such Motion shall be put forthwith.
8.--(1) This paragraph applies if--
(a) a Motion for the Adjournment of the House under Standing Order No. 24 (Adjournment on specific and important matter that should have urgent consideration) has been stood over to Seven o'clock; and
(b) proceedings on this Motion have begun before then.
(2) The bringing to a conclusion of any proceedings which, under this Order, are to be brought to a conclusion after that time, shall be postponed for a period equal to the duration of the proceedings on the Motion for the Adjournment of the House.