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Election of Select Committee Chairs (Notice of Election)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:00 pm on 15th October 2019.

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Photo of Hilary Benn Hilary Benn Chair, Committee on Exiting the European Union 7:00 pm, 15th October 2019

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. I apologise for not having given you notice of this point of order, but it relates to the answer that the Leader of the House gave earlier in his business statement about the possibility of a Saturday sitting. He was asked, “When are we going to know?” and he said that it was contingent on what happened at the European Council on Thursday and Friday.

Am I right in thinking that, unless the House agrees to a business motion before we rise—presumably on Thursday—saying that there will be a Saturday sitting, the only way in which a Saturday sitting can then happen is as a result of a request to you, as Speaker for the House, to sit on that day? If that is the case, and if that request is not made until, say, late on Friday evening, how exactly are Members meant to know that the House has been recalled, unless they are notified by their Whips or read about it in the newspapers? You may not want to comment on this, Mr Speaker, but would it not be preferable if the House were to be informed in advance that there was to be a Saturday sitting, rather than the recall procedure being used—if my understanding is correct?