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Private Members' Bills

Volume 608: debated on Thursday 21 April 2016

5. What assessment he has made of the effectiveness of procedures for dealing with private Members' bills. (904591)

I have now received a copy of the Procedure Committee report, which I shall study carefully. I obviously want to respond constructively to it, and I think the House would expect me to take a little bit of time to consider what it says.

I am grateful to the Leader of the House for his reply. Some of the recommendations in the report are more controversial than others. As my observant right hon. Friend will have noticed, there are 67 private Members’ Bills listed in the future business section of today’s Order Paper that stand no chance at all of being given further time for consideration. As one of the proposals in the report relates to private Members’ Bills, may I urge him to introduce measures to deal at least with the uncontroversial parts of the report as soon as possible?

I have sympathy with what my hon. Friend says. Members of the public looking at that list of private Members’ Bills will believe that those measures could still make progress, but we know that, given where we are in the Session, that is not now possible. There is a lot that is good in the report, and I can give him an assurance that we will respond carefully and thoughtfully to it. I pay tribute to my hon. Friend. I also pay tribute to my hon. Friend the Member for Broxbourne (Mr Walker), who chairs the Procedure Committee, for the excellent work that he and his team have done on the report. I can assure my hon. Friend the Member for Bury North (Mr Nuttall) that it will get a proper response.