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Volume 556: debated on Thursday 17 January 2013

We have received confirmation of the Procedure Committee’s decision to undertake an inquiry into programming together with a request to set out the Government’s views. We will submit our views shortly.

Given how light the Government’s legislative programme is, does the right hon. Gentleman think that now is the time to consider whether we can debate private Members’ Bills not only on Fridays but on other days of the week, rather than having the countless pointless debates that we currently have to endure?

I am surprised that the hon. Lady considers that the Government have a light programme; that is certainly not the view on the Government Benches. The House has expressed a view on private Members’ Bills. It has thought it appropriate to leave them where they are.

When the Leader of the House and his deputy prepare their evidence, will they consider holding the Committee stage of the Bill on equal marriage on the Floor of the House?

I thank the hon. Lady for that question about a matter that has been raised before. The Government want to allow suitable scrutiny of the Bill and I am sure that the Government will provide it.