HC Deb 06 March 2000 vol 345 c556W
Miss Widdecombe

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, further to his answer to the right hon. Member for Maidstone and the Weald of 29 February on pilot projects of alternative voting methods,(a) for what reasons (i) the Local government Association and (ii) journalists were informed of his provisional decisions, and why he imposed no restriction on publication before Parliament had been informed, (b) why he chose not to inform Parliament of his provisional decisions, (c) if he expects his final decisions on the projects to differ from his provisional decisions, and (d) if he will list the journalists whom he informed of his provisional decisions on 15 February; and if he will make a statement. [113279]

Mr. Mike O'Brien

The information was made available to journalists and the Local Government Association because they requested it.

No statement was made to Parliament as my decisions were only provisional. Final decisions will not be made until after the Representation of the People Bill has received Royal Assent, at which point Parliament will be informed of them.

One journalist from "The Independent" newspaper was given the information on 15 February. Others were given it, on request, later in that week.

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