Motion to Agree
My Lords, this report covers several matters, some of which are, I hope, self-explanatory. However, I hope it will be helpful if I refer briefly to three of our recommendations.
First, we have considered the proposals of the Leader of the House regarding the future timetabling of Thursday debates, both for the present, two-year Session, and for future Sessions, which will run from spring to spring. We are satisfied, on the basis of figures and projections provided by the Clerk of the Parliaments, that the Leader’s proposals will provide the same number of Back-Bench debate days as the current arrangements. We therefore recommend this proposal to the House.
Secondly, we have endorsed a suggestion by the Leader of the Opposition that the limit on the number of topical Oral Questions allowed per Member should be increased for the duration of the present, long Session. In deciding on an appropriate limit, we have had to balance the length of the Session against the growing number of Members wishing to table Questions. We therefore recommend a one-off increase in the limit from four Oral Questions per Session to five.
Finally, we have considered the conduct of Oral Statements. We recommend that in future Members wishing to ask questions on an Oral Statement should, as a courtesy to other Members, be present to hear the whole Statement read out. This is a modest change, but I hope that the House will welcome it.