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Leader of the House: Question Time

Volume 603: debated on Thursday 3 December 2015

7. What assessment he has made of whether oral questions to the Leader of the House is an effective use of parliamentary time. (902514)

The oral questions rota is regularly reviewed to ensure that the Government and other answering bodies can be adequately scrutinised, reflecting any machinery of government changes and the quantitative evidence of Members questioning.

I am grateful for my right hon. Friend’s answer, but there are many important issues that need to be raised. Will he consider whether oral questions to the Leader of the House are the best use of time?

I am very tempted by the idea of merging questions to the Leader of the House with business questions, as we seem to cover a lot of the same ground. There are areas of activity where there is a case for allowing more time for scrutiny in the House. I intend to give careful consideration to the matter in the coming weeks. There may well be a case for change.

Has the Leader of the House made any assessment of whether we ought to have more time to put questions to him, given that today, for example, not all Members’ questions on the Order Paper will be reached.

I am very much in favour of all Members having the opportunity. It is a matter of ensuring that we make the best use of parliamentary time and have adequate time for scrutiny. If one listens to the topics covered in this short session today, it is not entirely clear to me why we could not take those as part of business questions and make this 15-minute slot available for another topic, such as Scotland or International Development, where there might be a case for an extended session.