Ministerial Statements - Procedure Committee Contents

6  Conclusion

78. Ministerial statements are an important opportunity for Members of Parliament to be informed of the policies the Government intends to pursue and for Members, especially backbenchers, to question Ministers on those policies. Oral statements in particular are highly valued by backbenchers. It is therefore in the interests of the House for Ministers to be encouraged to make as many statements as are necessary and for the rules of the House to facilitate as far as possible the making of statements. We hope that the changes we have proposed in this report will serve to encourage Ministers to make important announcements to Parliament first.

79. Information about government policy has for many years found its way into the public domain at times when the House is sitting before it is announced to Parliament. We strongly deprecate this practice. There must be consequences for Ministers who find that information, by whatever means, has been "pre-released" by their departments. We hope that the changes we have proposed will act as a necessary deterrent to Ministers and officials who are tempted to make announcements or leak information before a statement has been made to Parliament.

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2011
Prepared 2 February 2011