There was an absence of consensus on this issue at the end of the previous Parliament, and there is still no consensus at the beginning of this Parliament. The Government therefore have no intention of bringing forward proposals.
I warmly welcomed the proposal in the Conservative party’s 2010 manifesto for a House business committee. The consensus that the Minister mentions is one between the two Front Benches—the Government and the alternative Government. Will she consider the interests of Parliament in allowing it to have at least some small say in setting its own agenda?
The reforms that were voted on at the beginning of the 2010 Parliament gave much more time to Back-Bench business, to debate matters topical to Back Benchers. The hon. Gentleman will also note that we voted at the end of the last Parliament to add extra time in Westminster Hall for consideration of matters determined by Members of Parliament.
Mr Allen is absolutely right. The mother of Parliaments is grown up enough to run its own affairs, and the only disagreement is from the two Front Benches, who do not want to give up power. If we pass only legislation that has consent, we will get nothing through. That is an abject failure. We need a House business committee, so why not at least put it on the agenda, have a debate and let the House decide?
Members put the issue on the agenda all the time in these business questions, and they are right to do so to pursue their interests in that regard. However, I repeat what I said earlier: the Government have no intention of bringing forward those proposals.
Order. No, we are not on those matters. It was an innocent error on the part of the hon. Gentleman, but that is nothing to do with a House business committee.