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Speaker’s Statement

Volume 467: debated on Thursday 8 November 2007

On 25 October the House agreed new temporary Standing Orders about time limits on speeches, including special limits for topical debates and, for the first time, limits on Front-Bench speeches. [Hon. Members: “Hear, hear.”] A very good decision. Because of the complexity of these arrangements, I have approved a memorandum to be published on each of the next few days explaining how the new arrangements will work. For most debates, time limits on Back-Bench speeches, if used, will vary from three to 15 minutes, as before. It is my intention to operate the rules flexibly, so that limits may be increased or decreased in the course of a debate to ensure maximum possible participation and the use of all the time available.