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Rules: Ministerial Statements
#1
Ministerial Statements are brief statements made to Parliament, and functionally to the public via the Press, on issues of Government concern. Any member of the Ministry may make a Ministerial Statement.

Ministerial Statements are briefly debated--not more than 4 days after the initial statement is made--but differ from other debates in that there is no vote at the end of the debate. A Minister wishing to have a longer debate on an issue is advised to schedule a Topical Debate on the subject rather than using the format of a Ministerial Statement, which can be debated longer and will hold a vote at the end of the debate.

Any player may reply to a Ministerial Statement or otherwise participate in the discussion, including other Ministers of the Crown.

When a Minister has an update for the House on the same subject as a previous Ministerial Statement, it should be given in a new thread rather than as a reply to an existing statement, even if the existing statement's debate has not expired.

Ministerial Statements are an appropriate place to ask questions pertinent to the topic, however that is not all it should be used for. If a Ministerial Statement does not include sufficient context or information for anyone to reply with a position on the topic, much greater leeway will be given in allowing Members to respond with purely questions without broadly taking a position on the topic, however Ministerial Statements should not be viewed simply as supplementary Question Time and the Speaker may intervene if Members use it as such unjustifiably.

When making a Ministerial Statement, the thread should be started with the title "MS: Subject" where the subject is a description of the topic being discussed. For instance, were the Foreign Secretary or Prime Minister to have made a statement on the Falkland War, they might title the thread "MS: The Situation in the Falklands" in order to provide context. A followup might be similarly titled, "MS: Update on the Situation in the Falklands".

In the 1980s and 1990s in particular, Ministerial Statements bear an important role as a tool for Government policy announcements. While policy might sometimes be announced in a small speech at a topical location (for instance the Health Secretary briefing the press outside a hospital on new health policies affecting the NHS), more often than not the first port of call for a policy announcement will be a Ministerial Statement.

A good Ministerial Statement will be relatively brief and concise. It will provide sufficient context that any Member should, from the information in the Statement alone, be able to respond by taking an opinion on the subject without need to confirm details with media reports or first ask clarifying questions to the Minister making the statement.
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