Thank you for contacting me about the Procedure Committee report on correcting the record. I am grateful to the Committee for their work.
On 24 October, the House of Commons agreed with the Committee’s recommendations to further improve the transparency of corrections, including the proposed expansion of the formal ministerial corrections process to all MPs. It is an important principle that all Members of the House – be they Ministers of the Crown, Members of the Official Opposition, or backbench Members – adhere to high standards of accountability and openness.
Ministers are obligated to ensure that the information they provide to Parliament is accurate, as set out in the Ministerial Code and the House of Commons’ 1997 resolution on ministerial accountability. While the current system for ministerial corrections is well established, the lack of a formal mechanism for Members of the official Opposition and backbench MPs means that there is no clear way of identifying a correction given and linking it to the original statement. The Government therefore welcomes the proposed expansion of the formal corrections process.
The Government agrees with the Procedure Committee in its assessment that the existing procedural mechanisms for challenging the accuracy of contributions in the House are sufficient. On a lack of willingness to correct the record, the Government believes that further work and attention is required.
Openness, transparency and honesty in politics are what our constituents expect, and it is incumbent on us all to make sure that we find mechanisms, where appropriate, to make that as easy as possible.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Craig Whittaker MP