Earlier today (Tuesday 18th July 2017) raised a point of order in the House of Commons calling for the Government's response to two Foreign Affairs Select Committee reports on Russia and Turkey.
Mike Gapes MP (Ilford South): On a point of order, Mr Speaker. I seek your guidance and advice. As you are aware, it is regular and customary for the Government to give a written response to Select Committee reports within two months of publication. The Foreign Affairs Committee published reports in March, in the previous Parliament, on Russia and Turkey. Given the topicality of the anniversary of the attempted coup in Turkey, I was hoping to read a Government response to the report on Turkey. I know we have had a general election and that the period of two months was not continuous, but the period between March and Parliament resuming is more than two months. I would therefore be grateful if you advised me on what I can do to ensure that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office provides the long-overdue responses to those Select Committee reports.
John Bercow (Speaker of the House of Commons, Chair, Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority): I am very sorry to disappoint the hon. Gentleman, whose interest in and knowledge of such matters are well known and respected throughout the House, but the short answer is that the best way to guarantee a timely—or at least less untimely—response to the Select Committee reports will be to reconstitute the Foreign Affairs Committee as soon as possible. He is absolutely right that there has been a long delay. Ministers can take the view that they are responding to a report from a Committee and that the Foreign Affairs Committee currently does not exist and needs to be reconstituted.
I think the hon. Gentleman might have been present when I volunteered some thoughts with some asperity on the merit of getting on with the reconstitution of Select Committees. Although the Chairs have been elected, I am saddened that members have not been elected across the House—it is a pity if some have not got round to doing that. Frankly, however, there is not much that I can do other than say that I am always looking out for the hon. Gentleman. If he bobs up and down with a view to raising the matter, I will try to accommodate him. [Interruption.] It is always a delight to hear the views of John Mann, to which I have been accustomed for the past 30 years. It is always better when they are offered from him on his feet, rather than from his seat, but I heard him chuntering from a sedentary position.