§ Mrs. Angela Browning (Tiverton and Honiton)
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. At Home Office questions on 10 June I raised the case of a paedophile who, having served a prison sentence, changed his name by deed poll and reoffended. The Minister for Policing, Crime Reduction and Community Safety advised me that, if I sent him the information, he would deal with the case as a matter of urgency. Such were his words that the next day our local paper, the Express & Echo, reported it as a pledge on his part.
However, in trying to follow up the case, I now find that the Minister has passed the paperwork to his Under-Secretary and, despite several telephone calls from my office, the Under-Secretary's office has been unable to identify where the paperwork is or tell me what is happening. Next week, the Police Reform Bill will give us a window of opportunity to deal with a matter that the Minister promised would be dealt with urgently. We might be able to close the loophole by tabling an amendment to that Bill.
On the day that I raised the matter, I hand delivered the necessary information to the Home Office, because I took the Minister at his word. The way in which the case has been handled is not just a contempt of the House but will come as a great disappointment to the victims. Therefore, can you assist me, Mr. Speaker? When such matters are raised on the Floor of the House, hon. Members should have every expectation that a Minister's word is his bond.
§ Mr. Speaker
I regret that this has happened to the hon. Lady in seeking to represent her constituents. I hope that the appropriate Ministers will see the record of today's proceedings and look into the matter urgently.
§ Mr. Tam Dalyell (Linlithgow)
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, about which I gave your office brief notice. Following his good fortune in the private Member's ballot, the hon. Member for Uxbridge (Mr. Randall) used his time extremely well, in the view of many of us, to introduce the Marine Wildlife Conservation Bill on Friday 26 October. He received strong support from both sides of the House and from all who were present. He cannot, for understandable personal reasons, be here at the moment, but he knows that I am raising the issue.
After a number of successful pleas, the Bill went into Committee on Wednesday 21 November and members of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs—Ministers, in particular the Minister for the Environment, my right hon. Friend the Member for Oldham, West and Royton (Mr. Meacher), and civil servants—worked extremely hard and put in a great deal of effort. The Bill then received its Third Reading in the House of Commons, and has now gone to the other place.
For a number of complicated reasons, it seems that certain Members of the other place want to bury the issue. Is it acceptable that a Bill that was introduced by an Opposition Member with strong departmental support from the Government and with the strong support of Labour Members, all of whom are interested in the issue, should suddenly evaporate for what might be termed a bit of skulduggery in the other place? It is unacceptable that a private Member's Bill introduced in the House of 243 Commons should be allowed to fail in the other place, which has not considered it in anything like the depth that this House has.
§ Mr. Speaker
I understand the hon. Gentleman's concern, and, although I do my best to control this place, I have no control over the other place. I am afraid that I cannot help him.