HC Deb 04 February 2004 vol 417 c763 12.30 pm
Llew Smith (Blaenau Gwent) (Lab)

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. At the time of the Scott inquiry the House was given a commitment that that inquiry would not preclude Back Benchers from asking questions relating to the subject of that inquiry. Very soon after that, that rule was broken and Members such as myself were prevented from asking questions, even though in answer to a letter from me, Lord Justice Scott said that he had no objections.

The Butler inquiry is not a judicial inquiry so the problem is not whether questions would be sub judice. However, we need protection from the Chair to ensure that we can continue to ask the sort of questions that are necessary while the Butler inquiry continues.

Mr. Speaker

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for giving me notice of his point of order. The setting up of the inquiry under the chairmanship of the Lord Butler of Brockwell will not affect the admissibility of questions to Ministers on matters covered by the inquiry. I hope that that is helpful to the hon. Gentleman.