HC Deb 12 July 2001 vol 371 c946 1.27 pm
John McDonnell (Hayes and Harlington)

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Reference has been made in business questions to terminal 5, in which I have a direct constituency interest. Both the previous Speaker and you have made it clear to the Government that any announcements about major decisions should be made on the Floor of the House. Will you express your view that an announcement on such a major issue as this should be made on the Floor of the House rather than during the recess?

Mr. Speaker

My view is that at all times when Parliament is in Session Ministers should endeavour to get to the House to make statements. However, we are talking about a three-month recess and it would be unfair of me to say that no statement should be made by any Minister during the recess.

Harry Cohen (Leyton and Wanstead)

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Will you take a look at the question of ministerial accountability in the context of answering for London Underground? I fear that, come the autumn, Ministers will not answer questions or appear at the Dispatch Box in respect of London Underground, but will say instead that the private infrastructure companies that they set up are responsible for maintenance, London Underground is responsible for operations and Transport for London is responsible for policy, yet their fingerprints will be all over—

Mr. Speaker

Order. The hon. Gentleman is trying to extend business questions.

Harry Cohen


Mr. Speaker

Order. The hon. Gentleman knows how to take up such matters, even during a parliamentary recess.

Mrs. Claire Curtis-Thomas (Crosby)

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. The better regulation task force today issued a report condemning the role of the regulatory system, but that report is available in neither the Vote Office nor the Library. Will you look into the omission?

Mr. Speaker

I shall look into the matter.