House Business Committee

Leader of the House – in the House of Commons at 9:30 am on 9th July 2015.

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Photo of Graham Allen Graham Allen Labour, Nottingham North 9:30 am, 9th July 2015

If he will take steps to establish a House business committee; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Therese Coffey Therese Coffey The Deputy Leader of the House of Commons

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.

Photo of Graham Allen Graham Allen Labour, Nottingham North

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?

Photo of Therese Coffey Therese Coffey The Deputy Leader of the House of Commons

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.

Photo of Peter Bone Peter Bone Conservative, Wellingborough

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?

Photo of Therese Coffey Therese Coffey The Deputy Leader of the House of Commons

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.

Photo of Drew Hendry Drew Hendry Shadow SNP Westminster Group Leader (Transport)

Many people in many parts of the UK are tied into mobile phone contracts, but they receive poor or little service. Will the Leader of the House give us a debate in Government time on that important issue to allow those people—