1. If he will assess the effectiveness of (a) oral questions to the Leader of the House and (b) the weekly Business Question as an opportunity for scrutiny. (26722)
I believe that both procedures provide an effective opportunity for hon. Members to hold the Government to account for their management of the business of the House.
My right hon. Friend is open to more parliamentary scrutiny on the Floor of the House than any other Minister of the Crown. Will he support my proposals for this present Question Time slot to be merged with his business questions? Together with other consequential changes in the oral questions timetable, that would lead to more time being available for questions to the Department for Transport.
I am grateful to my hon. Friend for that suggestion. If this slot was moved from where it is at the moment, it would not advantage the Department for Transport but the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, from which we have just heard. The answer to my hon. Friend is this. Within three years, we will be moving towards a House business Committee. At that point, it will make sense to look at how we deal with the whole issue of business questions in the light of new arrangements for that responsibility.