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Business of the House (10 September)

Volume 585: debated on Monday 8 September 2014

I beg to move,

That at the sitting on Wednesday 10 September, the Speaker shall put the Questions necessary to dispose of proceedings on the Motion in the name of Jesse Norman relating to Select Committee on Governance of the House not later than two hours after their commencement; such Questions shall include the Questions on any Amendments selected by the Speaker which may then be moved; proceedings may continue, though opposed, after the moment of interruption; and Standing Order No. 41A (Deferred divisions) shall not apply.

Last Thursday during the business statement, the Leader of the House announced, following representations from and discussions with the Backbench Business Committee, that on Wednesday of this week the House would consider a motion to establish a Select Committee on governance of the House. The motion to establish the Select Committee has been found time additional to that already provided for Back-Bench business. Given the level of interest throughout the House and the importance to the House of resolving its governance arrangements in a timely manner, the Government have brought forward the motion to allow the issue to be considered and resolved after the moment of interruption on Wednesday should that prove necessary.

The House will be aware that the major item of business being taken on Wednesday is the general debate on Ukraine, the middle east, north Africa and security. That is obviously a significant debate, and it is important that the House is given an adequate opportunity to debate those issues. That is why the Government have agreed, on this occasion, to provide Government time for the debate on international issues, in addition to the statements and other debating opportunities that the House has had to consider those issues. I hope the House will agree that this business motion will facilitate the business of the House in a sensible way, and I commend it to the House.

We support the motion to timetable a Back-Bench debate on Wednesday evening on the creation of a Select Committee on governance of the House. The time proposed by the Government will give Members throughout the House a sufficient chance to have their say, and the motion also recognises that we will have spent a significant amount of time on Wednesday debating international matters of crucial importance.

Mr Speaker was right last week to say that it is important that the House move as one on the issue of its governance. That is why we welcome both the chance to have the debate and the motion proposed to the Backbench Business Committee. I do not want to address the content of Wednesday’s debate now, but it is clear that the moment is right to consider splitting the roles of the Clerk and the chief executive, and that the House should have a process for considering that properly and in a timely fashion, so I hope that Members will support today’s motion.

Question put and agreed to.