Business of the House

– in the House of Commons at 3:58 pm on 24th October 2000.

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Photo of Margaret Beckett Margaret Beckett Chair, Modernisation of the House of Commons Committee, Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons (Privy Council Office) 3:58 pm, 24th October 2000

May I join others in welcoming you to the Chair, Mr. Speaker, and seek the permission of the House to make a short business statement?

At the conclusion of the Opposition day tomorrow there will be a motion on the Flags Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2000.

Photo of Angela Browning Angela Browning Shadow Leader of the House of Commons

May I, too, publicly welcome you to the Chair, Mr. Speaker?

I thank the right hon. Lady for her statement, with which we concur. We shall be happy to debate the Regulations at 10 pm tomorrow.

On the subject of debate, I believe that you, Mr. Speaker, are aware that, during the summer recess, my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition had cause to call for the return of Parliament, owing to the national crisis caused by the fuel protests. You will know that tomorrow's Order Paper states that we intend, in Opposition time, to debate that subject, but may I, through you, ask the right hon. Lady if she would use her good offices to persuade the Deputy Prime Minister to attend the House for that debate? We understand that he is devolving that responsibility to a Minister of State and, given the importance of the subject, we feel that a member of the Cabinet should reply to the debate.

Photo of Michael Martin Michael Martin Speaker of the House of Commons

The hon. Lady will know that that is a separate matter from the business which has been announced.

Photo of Margaret Beckett Margaret Beckett Chair, Modernisation of the House of Commons Committee, Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons (Privy Council Office)

You are entirely right, Mr. Speaker; it is a different matter. The hon. Lady will know that the Deputy Prime Minister has heard her words and she will also know that, in common with all Ministers, he has to balance the many demands on his time.