§ Mr. Tony Lloyd
To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will give details of occasions when he has refused to meet delegations of regional hon. Members of a particular party affiliation;
(2) if he will make a statement on his decision to refuse to meet a delegation of Labour Members from the north-west to discuss the role of the chairman of the North Western regional health authority and health care in this region.
§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
My ministerial colleagues and I very rarely decline to meet delegations of hon. Members. On the occasion referred to by the hon. Member I declined because there had already been four meetings between Ministers and delegations of hon. Members from all parties from the north-west to discuss health care in the region in the two months either side of the hon. Member's request and I did not believe that any more could usefully be added to what had already been discussed. My hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health had also met the hon. Member to discuss local health issues shortly after he wrote.
If the hon. Member wishes to bring a delegation of hon. Members to raise new points I or one of my colleagues would be willing to meet them.