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Today’s Business of the House

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Business, Innovation and Skills – in the House of Commons at 11:41 am on 26th March 2015.

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Photo of William Hague William Hague First Secretary of State and Leader of the House of Commons 11:41 am, 26th March 2015

The reason for the additional business is to allow the House to reach a decision on procedural matters that relate to the opening days of business in a new Parliament and therefore merit a decision now. In each case, I have received representations either from the Procedure Committee or from Members around the House—[Interruption.] Including Members on the Opposition Benches. They would like to see these issues decided. Three factors prompted the Government to table these motions yesterday. One is the absence of Lords amendments to be considered, as provided for in the original business, freeing up parliamentary time today—[Interruption.] It has freed up parliamentary time today. If Opposition Members do not believe that there was ever going to be any Lords amendments, they have great insight into what the House of Lords would decide.

The second factor is last week’s Procedure Committee report, specifically requesting that one of the four issues, concerning the programming of Bills, be dealt with before Dissolution. The third is the view of Government business managers that if we were to do that, the other three outstanding matters relating to the beginning of a new Parliament should, if at all possible, be decided at the same time.

Tabling motions at short notice is not unusual in the closing days of a Parliament and is specifically provided for in the motion agreed on Tuesday—agreed by the Opposition.