Ministerial Statements - Procedure Committee Contents

Substantive Responses from Members


It is frustrating that so many things appear announced away from the House avoiding the opportunity to question and scrutinise the announcement. I suspect this was ever so however. Not sure what can be done about it—but would welcome it being addressed.

September 2010


[Ministerial statements] could be announced earlier—at least twelve hours, preferably by close of business on the previous day. Statements [should be] of defined length—to aid scheduling of attendance for subsequent business

September 2010


I think the protocol should require all Ministerial statements to be made without exception to the House in the first instance, and that where a Minister fails to do this (eg: by discussing it earlier in the day on the Today programme), s/he should be summoned at the earliest opportunity to the relevant select committee to give an explanation. If that explanation is not accepted by the committee, their reasons for rejecting it should be published and sent in writing to the Leader of the House and to the Prime Minister with a request for an assurance that this disrespect to Parliament will not be repeated. If it were still to continue, a motion of censure could be moved on the floor of the House.

September 2010


As a new member I have found Ministerial Statements and Oral Questions to be very refreshing—they offer a real way to question ministers and to raise issues which are of concern to constituents. It would, of course, be helpful to have as much notice as possible about statements although I appreciate this isn't always possible. I think the more statements the better.

September 2010


I believe it is essential to develop a protocol on the provision of information by Ministers to the House. The key principle which should underpin the protocol should require all significant statements and announcements of new policy to be made first to the House. This is essential if the House is to re-establish its role as the main national forum for debate, a role which has been seriously eroded by the increasing demand and expectation on the part of the media for advance information from Ministers. Given this pressure, a protocol is only likely to be successful if it is accompanied by real sanctions for breach of the protocol. Such sanctions should not just apply to individual Ministers. As the Prime Minister is responsible for the Ministerial code, his presence in the House in the event of any serious breach of the protocol should also be required. Greater flexibility in terms of the timing of statements may be desirable as part of the reform.

July 2010

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