MP suggests Speaker arrest ministers who announce to press before Parliament

May 7, 2009 at 5:05 pm Leave a comment

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A Conservative MP has put a novel scheme to Deputy Speaker Sir Michael Lord.

Christopher Chope was protesting that “for the umpteenth time today, we have seen contempt shown for Mr Speaker and the occupants the Chair by the Government, who have defied Mr Speaker’s repeated requests that statements should be made to this House first, before they are made to the world outside.”

Mr Chope said: “The SATs statement was rehearsed on the radio this morning and the written statement to the House on DNA was all over the newspapers and in the media late last night. What is the point, Mr. Deputy Speaker, of Mr. Speaker making rulings unless they can be enforced?

“May I make a modest suggestion to Mr. Speaker: if, in future, there are Ministers—I am pleased to see the Home Secretary in her place on the Front Bench—who defy Mr. Speaker’s rulings, they should be arrested and have their DNA taken from them, and that that DNA sample should be destroyed only when we have received a proper undertaking and public apology from the Minister responsible?”

Sir Michael Lord said the Speaker “does indeed feel very strongly that, before statements to this House are disclosed or discussed elsewhere, they should be made to this House.”

He said the Speaker “will take note of the hon. Gentleman’s points, but as to whether he will follow up the hon. Gentleman’s suggestions, I cannot be quite so certain.”

Today the Home Office launched a consultation on how to comply with a European court judgement that the DNA profiles of up to 850,000 innocent people held among 4.5m on an official database should be removed.

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Entry filed under: Committees. Tags: , , , , .

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