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Questions for Oral Answer

Volume 717: debated on Thursday 4 February 2010


Asked by

To ask the Leader of the House whether she will remind Government Ministers, spokesmen and spokeswomen that they should make their answers at Question Time short and succinct; and whether she will remind other Members that supplementary questions should be short. [HL1451]

The Companion to the Standing Orders is perfectly clear on the point. Paragraph 5.24 states:

“Ministers' initial answers should not generally exceed 75 words. Supplementary questions may be asked but they should be short and confined to not more than two points”.

Paragraph 5.25 adds that,

“when a Minister's answer contains material that is too lengthy ... to be given orally ... it may be published in Hansard”.

Ministers and Members have today been reminded of the need to adhere to this guidance.