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To ask the Chairman of Committees, further to his Written Answer on 6 July (WA 72-3), (1) how many sitting days of the House since 28 June 2011 breached the firm convention that the House should rise no later than 10 pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 7 pm on Thursdays and 3 pm on Fridays, and in each case by how much the time was exceeded; (2) what is the cumulative total of hours sat after those expected rising times since 1 January 2011; and (3) what is the cumulative total of hours sat since 1 January 2011 due to the House sitting at an earlier than usual time on an ordinary sitting day.
The Companion to the Standing Orders states that:
"The House usually sits for public business on Mondays and Tuesdays at 2.30 pm, on Wednesdays at 3 pm and on Thursdays at 11 am. The House also sits on Fridays at 10 am when pressure of business makes it necessary. It is a firm convention that the House normally rises by about 10 pm on Mondays to Wednesdays, by about 7 pm on Thursdays, and by about 3 pm on Fridays. The time of meeting of the House can be varied to meet the convenience of the House."
|Date of Sitting||Day||Rising time||Time after the usual rising time (in hours:mins)|
During the same period the cumulative total time which the House sat earlier than the usual sitting times was 48 hours and 15 minutes. This figure includes intermediate adjournments, for example, when the House sat at 11 am and adjourned shortly before Oral Questions at 2.30 pm. It also includes 26 hours made up of early sittings on days falling immediately before the start of a recess.
These figures exclude the sitting on