HC Deb 09 September 2004 vol 424 cc876-7 1.15 pm
David Davis (Haltemprice and Howden) (Con)

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I want to raise the matter of the writ laid today for the Hartlepool by-election. From the issuing of the writ until 30 September, the political broadcast coverage is governed by a series of Acts of Parliament, including the Representation of the People Acts, a number of broadcast codes and the responsibilities laid on the BBC and Ofcom to ensure the impartiality of broadcast coverage. Between now and 30 September, two of the three major political parties will hold their party conferences, normal coverage of which will make it impossible for the BBC and Ofcom to meet their responsibilities for fair and impartial coverage. Have you received any indication that the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport or the Home Secretary will come to the House to explain how the broadcasters can meet their legal and moral responsibilities?

Mr. Speaker

That is a matter of law, and it is not for me to rule on it from the Chair.

Mr. James Gray (North Wiltshire) (Con)

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I raised a point of order in the House last night on the two-year delay in implementation the Hunting Bill and was informed that a written answer outlining it would be available today in Hansard. However, I have checked Hansard and the information is not available, presumably because of a printing glitch.

The complex procedures that we will use next Wednesday are available in the Table Office this afternoon, but they will not be available to hon. Members until the next Order Paper is printed on Monday, which means that hon. Members who seek to take part in next Wednesday's debate will not be aware of the complex nature of the procedures until Monday. On this occasion, can hon. Members be given a copy of the procedural order, which is complex and abstruse?

Mr. Speaker

Any hon. Member can visit the Table Office—I used to enjoy going there myself when I was a Back Bencher. On his other point, the hon. Gentleman should be patient because the written answer will be printed in Hansard in due course in the next edition. Hansard is available in the Vote Office too, so it is good news all round for the hon. Gentleman.