Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:38 am on 3rd October 2019.

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Photo of Bob Blackman Bob Blackman Conservative, Harrow East 10:38 am, 3rd October 2019

Ian Mearns, the Chair of the Backbench Business Committee, is detained on urgent constituency business, so, on behalf of the Committee, I want to draw the attention of the Leader of the House to the fact that the Committee dissolves on prorogation, and therefore the Chair and the members of the Committee will have to be elected as soon after the state opening as is possible.

If I may, I shall make a number of quick pleas. First, can we ensure that that election takes place quickly and expeditiously, so that the Committee comes back into operation? Secondly, we will meet on Tuesday to produce a list of prioritised debates for Backbench Business time, so if the Government are putting on general debates, we will give the Leader of the House an opportunity to select many of those. Thirdly, can we move away from this nonsense of the Committee, including the Chair, being disbanded at the end of the parliamentary Session and having to be re-elected, so that we keep the same process for all Select Committees for the duration of a Parliament?

Finally, on my own behalf, can I invite my right hon. Friend to wish all those Hindus celebrating Navratri jai ambe?