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Arrangement of Business

Volume 707: debated on Monday 26 January 2009


My Lords, the House will be aware that I have allowed a Private Notice Question by the noble Lord, Lord Strathclyde, to the Leader of the House on recent allegations concerning certain Members of the House. It may be helpful for noble Lords to know that two Private Notice Questions on these issues were submitted, one by the noble Lord, Lord Strathclyde, and one by the noble Lord, Lord Goodhart. After discussion with the parties concerned, I would suggest that it might be convenient for the House if the supplementary question from the noble Lord, Lord Strathclyde, were followed immediately by a supplementary question from the noble Lord, Lord Goodhart. The Leader of the House could then reply to both supplementary questions before questions from other noble Lords.

My Lords, further to the remarks by the Lord Speaker, I suspect that a number of noble Lords will wish to ask questions to my noble friend the Lord President because of the special importance of this issue to the House. The Companion tells us that proceedings on a Private Notice Question are expected to take not more than 10 minutes. If at the end of this 10-minute period a significant number of noble Lords still wish to intervene, I suggest that we make a maximum of a further five minutes available on this occasion. I remind the House that proceedings on PNQs follow the rules for Oral Questions. Supplementary questions should be brief and confined to not more than two points.

Separately, but also importantly, I alert the House to a change of the business advertised for tomorrow. The list of speakers for the important Gaza debate now stands at 40. As it is last business tomorrow and may not start until perhaps 8 pm, or perhaps even 9 pm, we have decided that it is better to allow a crucial debate more time rather than squeeze Back-Bench contributions or sit well into the early hours. The earliest opportunity for us to reschedule the debate is next Friday 6 February, which had been planned to be a non-sitting day.