New Provision for Earlier Sittings on Wednesdays, and for Thursdays and Fridays

– in the House of Commons at 10:55 pm on 29th October 2002.

Alert me about debates like this

Motion made, and Question proposed,

That, with effect from 1st January 2003 until the end of the Parliament, the Standing Orders and practice of the House shall have effect subject to the following modifications:

(1) Subject to paragraph (3) of this Order and to paragraph (14)(a) of Standing Order No. 1B (Election of Speaker by secret ballot), the House shall meet on Wednesdays at half-past Eleven o'clock and—

(a) the moment of interruption shall be at Seven o'clock;

(b) in their application to such sittings, reference to a specified time in the Standing Orders shall be interpreted as reference to a time three hours earlier, except that reference to Twelve o'clock in Standing Order No. 24 (Adjournment on specific and important matter that should have urgent consideration) shall be read as reference to half-past Ten o'clock, and that references to One o'clock, a quarter past One o'clock and half-past Three o'clock in Standing Order No. 88 (Meetings of standing committees) shall be read as references to twenty-five minutes past Eleven o'clock, twenty minutes to Twelve o'clock and Two o'clock respectively; and

(c) divisions deferred under the provisions of the Order (Deferred Divisions) shall be held at half-past Twelve o'clock.

(2) On Wednesdays the sitting in Westminster Hall shall begin at half-past Nine o'clock, shall be suspended from half-past Eleven o'clock until Two o'clock and may then continue for up to a further two and a half hours (and in calculating that period no account shall be taken of any period during which the sitting may be suspended owing to a division being called in the House or a Committee of the whole House).

(3) Paragraphs (1) and (2) of this Order shall not apply to a Wednesday sitting which immediately follows a periodic adjournment of more than two days or is the first day of a session, and in the former case the sitting in Westminster Hall shall begin at half-past Nine o'clock and conclude at Two o'clock.

(4) On Thursdays the provisions of paragraph (1) of this Order shall apply (and the provisions of paragraphs (2) and (3) shall not apply), except that the moment of interruption shall be at Six o'clock and—

(a) opposed private business under Standing Order No. 20 (Time for taking private business), urgent debates set down for the same day by direction of the Speaker under Standing Order No. 24 (Adjournment on specific and important matter that should have urgent consideration), opposition half-day debates under paragraph (2)(c)(ii) of Standing Order No. 14 (Arrangement of public business) and half-day Estimates debates under paragraph (3)(b) of Standing Order No. 54 (Consideration of estimates) shall begin at Three o'clock;

(b) opposition half-day debates under paragraph (2)(c)(i) of Standing Order No. 14 and half-day Estimates debates under paragraph (3)(a) of Standing Order No. 54 shall lapse, or be interrupted, as the case may be, at Four o'clock; and

(c) references to Eleven o'clock and half-past Eleven o'clock in Standing Orders No. 15 (Exempted business) and No. 17 (Delegated Legislation (negative procedure)) shall be read as references to Seven o'clock and half-past Seven o'clock respectively.

(5) Unless the House otherwise orders, the House shall not sit on any Friday other than those on which private Members' bills have precedence and—

(a) when the House is not sitting on a Friday it shall, at its rising on the previous Thursday, stand adjourned till the following Monday without any question being put, unless it shall have resolved otherwise; and

(b) paragraph (4) of Standing Order No. 12 (House not to sit on certain Fridays) shall apply to any Friday on which the House does not sit by virtue of this Order, with the addition of notices of motions relating to proceedings on bills committed to a standing committee to the notices which may be received by the Public Bill Office under subparagraph (b) of that paragraph.— [Mr. Woolas.]

Amendment proposed: (a), in line 4, leave out paragraphs (1) to (3).—[Mr. Mullin.]

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The House divided: Ayes 265, Noes 288.

Division number 337

See full list of votes (From The Public Whip)

Question accordingly negatived.

Main Question put:—

The House divided: Ayes 311, Noes 234.

Division number 338

See full list of votes (From The Public Whip)

Question accordingly agreed to.