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Backbench Business Committee

Volume 512: debated on Monday 21 June 2010

As I am sure the hon. Gentleman will know, my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House heard the views of hon. Members from all parts of the House in the debate last Tuesday.

I am delighted that the Backbench Business Committee has been set up, and pay tribute to the Minister and to his colleague for doing so. Something that can be immensely frustrating for Back Benchers is having to take a ten-minute Bill or a private Member’s Bill through the ludicrous shenanigans of a Friday morning. Will the Minister undertake to make sure that private Members’ Bills are looked at by the Committee, so that we consider them on a Wednesday evening, for the greater convenience of all hon. Members?

Again, as the hon. Gentleman may know, that was debated last Tuesday. We all share the frustrations of having private Members’ legislation blocked in the extraordinary procedure that we use in the House for such legislation. The Chair of the Procedure Committee, the right hon. Member for East Yorkshire (Mr Knight), suggested that he wished to look at the whole process of private Members’ legislation, and I hope that his Committee can do so as a high priority. We will certainly keep in touch with that Committee and with the Backbench Business Committee in the hope of finding a better way of doing that particular area of business.