[Mr Speaker in the Chair]

– in the House of Commons at 9:30 am on 21st January 2011.

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Votes in this debate

Photo of Greg Knight Greg Knight Chair, Procedure Committee 9:30 am, 21st January 2011

I beg to move, That the House sit in private.

Question put forthwith (Standing Order No. 163).

The House proceeded to a Division.

The House having divided: Ayes 0, Noes 34.

Division number 178 Air Passenger Duty — [Mr Speaker in the Chair]

Aye: 0 MPs

No: 34 MPs

Ayes: A-Z by last name

Tellers

Nos: A-Z by last name

Tellers

The Speaker declared that the Question was not decided because fewer than 40 Members had participated in the Division (Standing Order No. 41).

Photo of Joan Walley Joan Walley Chair, Environmental Audit Committee, Chair, Environmental Audit Committee

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. It relates to Standing Orders Nos. 11, 12, 13 and 14. Standing Order No. 12 states:

"Unless the House otherwise orders, the House shall not sit on any Friday other than those on which private Members' bills have precedence."

Standing Order No. 14, on the arrangement and timing of public and private business, states that

"government business shall have precedence at every sitting" and paragraph (4) states:

"Private Members' bills shall have precedence over government business on thirteen Fridays in each session".

May I suggest, Mr Speaker, on the evidence of the time-wasting that we have seen not just today but regularly on Fridays, that, given that Members of the House come here to bring forward legislation-such as my Public Bodies (Sustainable Food) Bill, which is not mischievous and has not yet had a Second Reading and is unlikely to have one-it is time that this House, through the proper channels and the Procedure Committee, reconsidered how we deal with private Members' business so that we can make progress and so that those Members of Parliament who are elected to this House have a genuine opportunity to get legislation on to our statute book? That is what the public expect of us.

Photo of John Bercow John Bercow Chair, Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, Chair, Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, Speaker of the House of Commons, Speaker of the House of Commons, Chair, Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, Chair, Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission

I am grateful to the hon. Lady for her point of order and for advance notice of it. I have considerable sympathy for her and for other Back-Bench Members who have worked hard to bring their Bills to the House for debate. How today's proceedings unfold is a matter for the House and the use of time and procedure is in the hands of individual Members. The Chair of the Procedure Committee is in the House today and he might welcome a memorandum from the hon. Lady setting out her analysis of the problem and the solutions that she proposes. I hope that is helpful both to the hon. Lady and to the rest of the House.

Photo of Greg Knight Greg Knight Chair, Procedure Committee

Further to that point of order, Mr Speaker. I rise only to say that your conclusion is correct. I would welcome further discussions with Joan Walley and, indeed, we have already spoken in the margins of the Chamber to agree to do just that.