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Back-Bench Business Committee

Volume 507: debated on Thursday 11 March 2010

21. What discussions she has had with hon. Members on the means of implementing the House’s decision to establish a Back-Bench business committee in time for the start of the next Parliament. (321526)

The Leader of the House will table a motion to give effect to the resolutions of the House that were agreed following the recent debate on House of Commons reform.

I think the whole House is pleased to hear that, and we should acknowledge that, but it is only half the answer to my question, which involves whether the “Wright” Standing Order will be brought forward. I hope the Deputy Leader of the House accepts that the most appropriate procedure would be to consult the Wright Committee members whose amendment, essentially, was carried last Thursday, to ensure that the detailed Wright Standing Order, and also motion 62 in the Remaining Orders and Notices—and the Standing Order tabled, too—are submitted to the House for decision. Can the hon. Lady tell us when that is likely to happen?

The Leader of the House has to consider the motions that are required to give effect to resolutions of the House. Having looked at the motion tabled by the Reform of the House of Commons Committee, I note that some of it differs both from the recommendations in the Committee’s report and from our debates. Because there are some departures, further consideration will be necessary. However, hon. Members can rest assured that there will be motions giving effect to the resolutions of the House, as the Leader of the House told the hon. Gentleman yesterday. We ought now to be pleased with the progress that we are making.

May I reinforce the importance of this matter, and may I ask the Deputy Leader of the House to specify the respects in which the Wright Committee’s proposals do not match what was voted for by the House? If we are to implement what was recommended by the Wright Committee and voted for by the House, a good starting point will surely be the Wright Committee’s own idea of how Standing Orders should be used to give effect to the House’s decision.

The starting point is that some good steps were clearly taken, given that the resolutions were passed overwhelmingly. It is good that we know the will of the House. I can specify one of the details for which the hon. Gentleman has asked. Moving the power that currently resides with the Liaison Committee to the new Back-Bench business committee was not discussed during the debate. There are other differences between the resolutions that we agreed in the House last week and the detail of the motion, but the matter is being considered.