Business of the House
George Young (Leader of the House of Commons, House of Commons; North West Hampshire, Conservative)
I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman. If he looks at the coalition agreement, he will see that we made it absolutely clear that once an e-petition got 100,000 signatures it would be “eligible for debate”—I think that is the wording—so there is no question of my or anyone else’s misleading anyone about that. His suggestion that there should be extra time specifically for e-petitions is a helpful one. He will know that the Procedure Committee is reviewing the parliamentary calendar and that we are committed to reviewing the work of the Backbench Business Committee. It may be that those two reviews work together in tandem and that we are able to find extra space within the calendar to debate e-petitions. I know that this is an issue on which the Chair of the Backbench Business Committee has strong views.