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Arrangement of Business

Volume 730: debated on Thursday 13 October 2011

Announcement of Recess Dates

My Lords, it may be for the convenience of the House if I say a word about recess dates for the coming year. As ever, a note of all the dates that I am about to announce is available in the Printed Paper Office. I understand that my right honourable friend the Leader of the House of Commons is now making a Statement on the same subject to another place.

First, there will be a long weekend in November to break up the autumn, given that there will not be a prorogation this autumn. We will therefore rise at the end of business on Wednesday 16 November and return on Monday 21 November.

I have already announced the dates for the Christmas Recess this year. We will rise at close of business on 21 December and return on 10 January. Subject to the progress of business, and at this stage provisionally, the House will adjourn for a week in February from the end of business on 16 February and return on Monday 27 February. We will rise for Holy Week and Easter from the end of business on 28 March and return on Monday 16 April.

The recess that is variously known as Whit and Spring is very special next year. The Whitsun Recess will be combined with the public holidays to mark Her Majesty the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. We will rise at the end of Wednesday 30 May and return on Monday 11 June.

Next summer may seem a long way off, but may I also announce those holiday dates too? We will rise at the end of business on Wednesday 25 July and return on 8 October, the week of the Conservative Party conference. At present, I propose that this House should not sit in September 2012. As is always the case on these occasions, I must stress that these dates are subject to the progress of business and I shall need to keep under review the feasibility of the February Recess, but I hope to keep to these dates. The practice of announcing recess dates in advance, which I believe is a convenience to all Members and also to the staff of the House, can work only when we make reasonable progress with business.