HC Deb 20 December 1999 vol 341 cc636-7
Mr. Simon Hughes (Southwark, North and Bermondsey)

On a point of order, Madam Speaker. Further to your ruling earlier today on the matter of the Solicitor-General and the announcement about prosecutions against spies, it has been confirmed that the answer was placed in the Library considerably after 3.30 pm and considerably after the information was given to the press. Given that there was no statement today, can I seek your advice about what remains to Members to get Ministers to observe the rule that you laid down and, if possible, to get the Solicitor-General to the House before we rise for Christmas to make a statement tomorrow?

Madam Speaker

As I told the House, the rule is that such questions must be answered no earlier than 3.30 pm. Perhaps I can look into the matter. I cannot command a Minister to come to the House to make a statement, but no doubt Ministers on the Treasury Bench heard what the hon. Gentleman had to say.