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Back-Bench Business

Volume 534: debated on Thursday 3 November 2011

This issue could be considered as part of the review of the operation of the Backbench Business Committee. The hon. Lady knows, because we have had discussions, that we hope that will be undertaken fairly soon.

I thank the Deputy Leader of the House, but what reasons can he give for not having a regular slot? Would it not just be much, much easier?

The hon. Lady will recall that she sat on the Wright Committee. I did not, but she did and so did my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House, and we were committed to putting into effect the recommendations of the Wright Committee. She will recall that the Committee stated, in paragraph 214 of its report, that

“it could be left open to a process of regular discussion and negotiation as to which day of each week would be devoted to backbench business. This would avoid the rigidities referred to above.”

We have simply taken that recommendation—she may or may not have agreed with it, because I know she did not agree with all of what the Wright Committee recommended—and put it into effect. I have to say, there are advantages to having that flexibility.