HC Deb 03 December 1987 vol 123 c1101
Q4. Mr. Allen

To ask the Prime Minister if she will take steps to seek to alter the current practice of Ministers at Question Time reading from prepared briefs.

The Prime Minister

I refer my hon. Friend — the hon. Gentleman—sorry.

The answer to the hon. Gentleman's question is no.

Mr. Alien

The people who listen on the radio to Prime Minister's Question Time will not be aware that the Prime Minister does not answer questions off the cuff, but reads her answers from a prepared brief. Is that because the Prime Minister does not have the wit to answer the questions, or is it because she has no confidence in her policies?—[Interruption.]

Mr. Speaker

Order. Briefly.

Mr. Allen

Is the reason the Prime Minister does not want television cameras in this Chamber that people would see the Prime Minister and Prime Minister's Question Time for the sham that they both are?

The Prime Minister

As the hon. Gentleman has referred to broadcasting, I hope that people will also have the wit to know that one does not have a clue what will come out from the other side at all and I hope — [Interruption.] I do not know if anything of any value will come out from the other side, but just in case there should be anything of value one does take a great deal of trouble to try to provide statistics and to provide the facts. It is the facts that Opposition Members cannot stand. The reason why I do not want television is that I am afraid that people would see too much of what the other side are really like, and that would not enhance the reputation of this House.

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