BUSINESS QUESTION – CONFIDENTIALITY – 4 December 2008

Dr Julian Lewis: I am sure that, like every other assiduous constituency MP, the Leader of the House has during the course of her parliamentary career frequently given absolute assurances to constituents who impart sensitive personal information to her that what they say will be covered as if it were the secrets of the confessional. In the light of recent developments [the Police raid on Damian Green's Commons office], what advice can she give to Members as to what we should say to constituents who urge us to treat what they are about to impart to us with total confidentiality?

[The Leader of the House of Commons (Ms Harriet Harman): The hon. Gentleman will know that, as was said by Members yesterday, we are not above the law; subject to the proper procedures and processes, we are subject to the criminal law.]