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Peter Hain: I am a little unsighted on this matter. I shall deal with the hon. Lady's question in next week's business questions, if the opportunity arises. May I just say, however, that there is no connection at all between the Green Paper's publication date and the position of the Minister for Children, and that I regret that the right hon. Lady repeated the linkage that was made earlier?
[That this House notes that Professor Sir Roy Meadow give pivotal expert evidence in the murder trial of Sally Clark, who was subsequently cleared by the Court of Criminal Appeal; further notes that Professor Meadow discovered Munchausen's syndrome by proxy and might therefore be expected to diagnose that syndrome more readily than other, more sceptical experts; deplores the decision of the Crown Prosecution Service to field Professor Meadow in the trial of Trupti Patel; and calls for an urgent review of all cases in which Professor Meadow has given evidence, including those in the Family Court.]
Professor Sir Roy Meadow has a role in many casesnot only in the criminal court, but many thousands in the family courtand there is a need for a full legal inquiry into those cases. Could there be a debate on that or a statement from the relevant Minister as to how such an inquiry can go forward?
Peter Hain: I had many happy days tramping the streets of Putney knocking on doors, although I must say that my hon. Friend is a much better representative for that community than I proved to be, because he actually got elected.
Mrs. Eleanor Laing (Epping Forest): I listened carefully to the answer that the Leader of the House gave to my right hon. Friend the Member for South-West Norfolk (Mrs. Shephard). This is too serious a matter to be dismissed in such a way. We all understand that he has not been in post for long, and that there are some matters on which he is unsighted. He may not be aware that representatives of Downing street made it clear this morning that Lord Laming's report on the protection of children following the tragic death of little Victoria Climbié has indeed been delayed because of the difficulties facing the new Minister for Children.
Mr. Speaker: Order. The hon. Lady must take her seat. There seems to be a regular and concerted attack on the Minister for Children. The House should know that when an hon. Member is being attacked in such a way there should be a substantive motion before the House. I will not allow such matters to come up in business questions. I therefore ask the hon. Lady to be seated and inform other hon. Members who have this line of questioning that I will stop them.
Mr. Mark Hendrick (Preston): My right hon. Friend will be aware that it is some time since the publication of the Budd report on gaming. Will he look into how soon a new gaming Bill can be introduced to the House, because it would be of great benefit to seaside resorts and generate many jobs in the economy?
Peter Hain: I am aware of the impact of gaming on the economy, especially in seaside resorts. Careful thought is being given to creating an opportunity to introduce a Bill in the legislative programme that is now under consideration.
My right hon. Friend will be aware that there is a substantial grouping of opposition to World Trade Organisation policies for so-called free trade and open markets across the world. He will also be aware of the Trade Justice Movement's opposition to those policies. I myself took part in a demonstration against them last Saturday. This week, the World Bank acknowledged that its policies have not helped the world's poor. Will my right hon. Friend make space for a major debate on the Floor of the House on future trade policy?
Peter Hain: In respect of the world's poor, I share my hon. Friend's ambitions to conquer world poverty. This Government have the best record of any British Government in taking forward a massive increase in our overseas aid and development budget and in leading the international campaign to lift the dreadful burden of debt from the poorest countries in the world.
Along with many other Members, I received a delegation from the Trade Justice Movement in my surgery last Saturday morning, and I was very pleased to be photographed with them and to identify with their ambition. [Interruption.] They asked to be photographed with me, as it happens. I entirely share their goals. The Government are committed to taking forward an international trade round that truly frees up trade so that the poorest countries of the world, instead of being exploited by the rich part of the international community's trade protectionism, are able to get their produce into the markets of the richer world, including Europe. There will soon be an opportunitynext week, in International Development questionsfor those issues to be raised.
Sir George Young (North-West Hampshire): In his statement, the Leader of the House said that he hoped that we would have enough opportunity to scrutinise the Government's legislation between now and the summer recess. I am sure that the servants of the House would respect a decision by the House to sit beyond the announced date if we felt that it needed to do so in order to hold the Government to account. May I ask him about Tuesday's business, specifically the remaining stages of the Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Bill? Is he aware that 54 clauses of that Bill were not discussed in Standing Committee, and that since it left Committee the Government have tabled a whole range of new clauses about GP contracts? Should we not spend all Tuesday on that business instead of combining it with Lords amendments to other Bills?
Peter Hain: I have considerable respect for the right hon. Gentleman and I hope that we shall work together, as we did last week on the Wicks committee. It was a good try at going beyond 17 July, but I shall not comply with that request. In any case, the decision has already been made.
The right hon. Gentleman mentioned the Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Bill. There has been plenty of opportunity for scrutiny of the measure, which has been well debated. I cannot agree with his point on that.
I do not know whether the part-time Leader of the House or his deputy will reply to the summer Adjournment debates. The last debate of term takes place in a holiday atmosphere, and I wonder whether the right hon. Gentleman will outline his attempts to persuade his Cabinet colleagues to holiday in the United Kingdom, perhaps in Wales. We would be worried if any member of the Government, including the Prime Minister, accepted Mr. Berlusconi's hospitality.
Peter Hain: That was an attempt to link so many issues that I shall not respond in detail to it. However, Prime Minister Berlusconi and his remarks bring into focus the Government's argument, which the Opposition consistently attack, for a stable presidency for the European Council. We have argued that a six-
Mr. Kevin Hughes (Doncaster, North): My right hon. Friend may know that Allan Leighton, chairman of Royal Mail, attended a meeting in the House yesterday at my invitation to answer hon. Members' questions about Royal Mail's decision to shift mail from rail to road. As far as I know, that was hon. Members' only opportunity to question that serious decision. Given that Royal Mail is a wholly owned company of the Government's, does my right hon. Friend share my view that hon. Members should have a proper opportunity to scrutinise the decision? Will he arrange a debate or a statement by the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry?
Peter Hain: I am not sure whether there will be an opportunity for a debate or a statement, but I agree with my hon. Friend's sentiments. I am worried about the decision. Obviously such matters are for Royal Mail, but the night mail has long been part of its tradition. I remember the W.H. Auden poem "Night Mail", and I shall read the first few lines:
Bringing the cheque and the postal order,
Letters for the rich, letters for the poor,
The shop at the corner, the girl next door."