Backbench Business Committee

– in the House of Commons at 3:41 pm on 4th March 2010.

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Motion made, and Question proposed,

That this House approves recommendation 17 of the First Report of the Select Committee on Reform of the House of Commons, Session 2008-09, HC 1117, and looks forward to the House being offered the opportunity within 10 sitting weeks of the beginning of the next session of Parliament to establish a backbench business committee and a new category of backbench business, in the light of further consideration by the Procedure Committee. -(Ms Harman.)

Amendment proposed to motion 7 : (b), leave out from 'opportunity' to end and add

'in the light of further consideration by the Procedure Committee, to establish in time for the beginning of the next Parliament a Backbench Business Committee and a new category of backbench business, comprising initially the 15 days allotted to set piece debates; and subsequently days allocated for general debates.- (Sir George Young.)

Question put, That the amendment be made.

The House divided: Ayes 106, Noes 221.

Division number 99

See full list of votes (From The Public Whip)

Question accordingly negatived.

Amendments made to motion 7 : (c), leave out from 'opportunity' to end and add

'to establish, in time for the start of the next Parliament, a backbench business committee, constituted in accordance with the principles set out in recommendation 18 of the Committee's Report, to schedule non-ministerial business as described in recommendations 22 (select committees), 23 and 28 (backbench substantive motions), 30 (protected time for backbench business) and 39 (Estimates days) of the Committee's Report.'.

Amendment (a), at end add

'and approves the establishment during the course of the next Parliament of a House Business Committee comprising the backbench business committee and representatives of Government and Opposition which, while guaranteeing that the Government has the time and first choice of dates to get its legislative programme through, and to make whatever statements it wishes, would improve scheduling of business to ensure more effective scrutiny of legislation at Report Stage and consideration of Lords Amendments.'.

Amendment (d), at end add

'and also looks forward to the following recommendations of the Committee being given further consideration in the next Parliament:

(a) 19 and 20 (Ministerial business);

(b) 21 (Opposition business);

(c) 26 (notice and flexibility);

(d) 27 (timetabling);

(e) 32 (sessions and carry-over);

(f) 35 (Ministerial statements);

(g) 36 (general committees);

(h) 37 (public bill committees); and

(i) 40 (Private Members' bills).'.- (Dr. Tony Wright.)

Main Question, as amended, put and agreed to.

Resolved ,

That this House approves recommendation 17 of the First Report of the Select Committee on Reform of the House of Commons, Session 2008-09, HC 1117, and looks forward to the House being offered the opportunity to establish, in time for the start of the next Parliament, a backbench business committee, constituted in accordance with the principles set out in recommendation 18 of the Committee's Report, to schedule non-ministerial business as described in recommendations 22 (select committees), 23 and 28 (backbench substantive motions), 30 (protected time for backbench business) and 39 (Estimates days) of the Committee's Report, and approves the establishment during the course of the next Parliament of a House Business Committee comprising the backbench business committee and representatives of Government and Opposition which, while guaranteeing that the Government has the time and first choice of dates to get its legislative programme through, and to make whatever statements it wishes, would improve scheduling of business to ensure more effective scrutiny of legislation at Report Stage and consideration of Lords Amendments, and also looks forward to the following recommendations of the Committee being given further consideration in the next Parliament:

(a) 19 and 20 (Ministerial business);

(b) 21 (Opposition business);

(c) 26 (notice and flexibility);

(d) 27 (timetabling);

(e) 32 (sessions and carry-over);

(f) 35 (Ministerial statements);

(g) 36 (general committees);

(h) 37 (public bill committees); and

(i) 40 (Private Members' bills).