23 OCT 2019

Speaker's Statement

Sarah Wollaston Chair, Health and Social Care Committee, Chair, Liaison Committee (Commons), Chair, Liaison Committee

On a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. Frankly, I am astonished that at such short notice the Prime Minister has sent a note to the Liaison Committee refusing to appear before us in the morning. This is the only Committee that can call the Prime Minister to account, and it allows us to ask detailed questions with follow up on behalf of the public. This is now the third occasion on which the Prime Minister has cancelled. May I seek your guidance, Mr Deputy Speaker, because this is entirely unacceptable?

Lindsay Hoyle Deputy Speaker and Chairman of Ways and Means, Chair, Panel of Chairs, Chair, Standing Orders Committee

I recognise that three times is very difficult, and quite rightly we have to hold all officers, even the Prime Minister, to account. However, I also recognise that these are very difficult times at the moment, and I would hope that the point of order has been listened to by Ministers and that we can come forward with a date for the Prime Minister to appear, but, more importantly, that the Liaison Committee can get that meeting in—and, as Chair, I recognise the need to do so. So, both ways, there is a need to try to make sure we can make this happen.

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