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Deputy Speaker’s Statement

Volume 687: debated on Wednesday 20 January 2021

I would like to make a short statement about second and additional speeches during half-hour Adjournment debates which reflects the position of Mr Speaker and all the Deputy Speakers.

“Erskine May” makes it clear that the half-hour Adjournment debate is a personal debate between the Member who secured the debate and the Minister who is to reply. We would deprecate any attempt to transform the end-of-day Adjournment into a general debate. It is important that the Minister has time to engage with the issue and reply. Although other Members may intervene or make brief speeches with the agreement of the Member who secured the debate and the Minister, it is important to state that such agreement can be very reasonably withheld. The Member in charge and the Minister should not feel in any way obliged to agree. It is also important that, where both the Member whose debate it is and the Minister agree, the Chair must be notified in advance and in good time.

Separately, I should also inform the House that Mr Speaker has modified the scheme for virtual participation to provide that, where virtual participation is not required for the Member who secured the debate or the Minister replying, it will not be made available for another Member to give a second or additional speech.