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Tom Brake: As the Minister is about to conclude, I ask a further couple of questions. First, he said that consideration is being given to the development of national protocols. I wonder whether he can give me any idea of the time scale over which that consideration is to take place. Secondly, I was not certain what the Minister said—is he going to ask the commissioner to make the report available to me?

Hilary Benn: On the second of those points, under the law as it currently stands, it is entirely at the discretion of the commissioner as to whether to make the report available, but I have undertaken to draw to the attention of the commissioner the points that the hon. Gentleman has understandably made in relation to this case.

Tom Brake: May I rephrase it then? Will the Minister be suggesting to the commissioner that it would be appropriate perhaps for him to release the report in this case?

Hilary Benn: In drawing the attention of the commissioner to this debate, I will convey to him the concerns that the hon. Gentleman has expressed. No doubt the commissioner will also notice, as I am sure he already has, the change in the law that we are in the process of making in the House to change completely the arrangements for the disclosure of information, so that the presumption will be that the information will be disclosed, subject to the sensitivity tests that have been drawn up and are contained in the Bill. I am sure that the commissioner will carefully consider all the points that have been made in the debate.

On the second point that the hon. Gentleman raises about the time scale for the development of national protocols, I cannot answer that question this evening but I undertake to write to him about that to give him further information.

I am very sorry about what happened to Glenn Howard, and I would be grateful if the hon. Gentleman extended my sympathies to the family as they try to come to terms with their terrible loss.

Question put and agreed to.

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