Leader of the House

We provide support to the Leader of the House of Commons, who is responsible for planning and supervising the government’s legislative programme (including the Queen’s speech), and managing government business within the House of Commons while also upholding the rights and interests of the backbench members of the House.



Secretary of State

 Portrait

Earl Howe
Deputy Leader of the House of Lords

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons

 Portrait

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal

Shadow Ministers / Spokeperson
Labour
Baroness Smith of Basildon (Lab - Life peer)
Shadow Leader of the House of Lords

Liberal Democrat
Wera Hobhouse (LD - Bath)
Liberal Democrat Shadow Leader of the House of Commons

Labour
Lord Collins of Highbury (Lab - Life peer)
Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Lords
Lucy Powell (Lab - Manchester Central)
Shadow Leader of the House of Commons
Nick Smith (Lab - Blaenau Gwent)
Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Commons
Scheduled Event
Monday 26th February 2024
Leader of the House
Motion - Main Chamber
Business of the House (today)
View calendar
Scheduled Event
Thursday 29th February 2024
Leader of the House
Business Statement - Main Chamber
Business Questions to the Leader of the House
View calendar
Scheduled Event
Monday 4th March 2024
Leader of the House
Motion - Main Chamber
Debate on a motion on risk-based exclusion following recommendations from the House of Commons Commission
View calendar
Scheduled Event
Thursday 7th March 2024
Leader of the House
Business Statement - Main Chamber
Business Questions to the Leader of the House
View calendar
Scheduled Event
Thursday 14th March 2024
Leader of the House
Business Statement - Main Chamber
Business Questions to the Leader of the House
View calendar
Scheduled Event
Thursday 21st March 2024
Leader of the House
Business Statement - Main Chamber
Business Questions to the Leader of the House
View calendar
Scheduled Event
Thursday 18th April 2024
Leader of the House
Business Statement - Main Chamber
Business Questions to the Leader of the House
View calendar
Scheduled Event
Thursday 25th April 2024
Leader of the House
Business Statement - Main Chamber
Business Questions to the Leader of the House
View calendar
Scheduled Event
Thursday 2nd May 2024
Leader of the House
Business Statement - Main Chamber
Business Questions to the Leader of the House
View calendar
Scheduled Event
Thursday 9th May 2024
Leader of the House
Business Statement - Main Chamber
Business Questions to the Leader of the House
View calendar
Debates
Thursday 22nd February 2024
Business of the House
Commons Chamber
Select Committee Docs
None available
Select Committee Inquiry
None available
Written Answers
Monday 19th February 2024
Arms Trade: Parliamentary Scrutiny
To ask the Leader of the House, if she will take steps with Cabinet colleagues to increase parliamentary scrutiny of …
Secondary Legislation
None available
Bills
None available
Dept. Publications
Wednesday 1st March 2023
10:41
Trust in Britain
News and Communications

Leader of the House Commons Appearances

Oral Answers to Questions is a regularly scheduled appearance where the Secretary of State and junior minister will answer at the Dispatch Box questions from backbench MPs

Other Commons Chamber appearances can be:
  • Urgent Questions where the Speaker has selected a question to which a Minister must reply that day
  • Adjornment Debates a 30 minute debate attended by a Minister that concludes the day in Parliament.
  • Oral Statements informing the Commons of a significant development, where backbench MP's can then question the Minister making the statement.

Westminster Hall debates are performed in response to backbench MPs or e-petitions asking for a Minister to address a detailed issue

Written Statements are made when a current event is not sufficiently significant to require an Oral Statement, but the House is required to be informed.

Most Recent Commons Appearances by Category
Apr. 21
Oral Questions
Oct. 16
Urgent Questions
Apr. 13
Westminster Hall
Mar. 06
Adjournment Debate
View All Leader of the House Commons Contibutions

Bills currently before Parliament

Leader of the House does not have Bills currently before Parliament


Acts of Parliament created in the 2019 Parliament

Leader of the House has not passed any Acts during the 2019 Parliament

Petitions

e-Petitions are administered by Parliament and allow members of the public to express support for a particular issue.

If an e-petition reaches 10,000 signatures the Government will issue a written response.

If an e-petition reaches 100,000 signatures the petition becomes eligible for a Parliamentary debate (usually Monday 4.30pm in Westminster Hall).

Trending Petitions
Petition Open
1,641 Signatures
(1,513 in the last 7 days)
Petition Open
3,577 Signatures
(30 in the last 7 days)
Petition Open
32 Signatures
(15 in the last 7 days)
Petition Open
2,327 Signatures
(6 in the last 7 days)
Petition Open
345 Signatures
(2 in the last 7 days)
Petitions with most signatures
Petition Open
3,577 Signatures
(30 in the last 7 days)
Petition Open
2,327 Signatures
(6 in the last 7 days)
Petition Open
1,641 Signatures
(1,513 in the last 7 days)
Petition Open
345 Signatures
(2 in the last 7 days)
Petition Open
53 Signatures
(1 in the last 7 days)
Petition Debates Contributed
133,008
Petition Closed
14 Oct 2021
closed 2 years, 4 months ago

The Government should introduce legislation to make lying in the House of Commons a criminal offence. This would mean that all MPs, including Ministers, would face a serious penalty for knowingly making false statements in the House of Commons, as is the case in a court of law.

View All Leader of the House Petitions

50 most recent Written Questions

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department

8th Feb 2024
To ask the Leader of the House, if she will take steps with Cabinet colleagues to increase parliamentary scrutiny of UK strategic export controls for military goods.

The government recognises the importance of effective Parliamentary scrutiny of strategic export controls and takes these matters very seriously. The UK operates one of the most transparent export licensing systems in the world, publishing quarterly and annual statistics on all of our export licensing decisions, including details of export licences granted, refused and revoked. The government is required by statute to present an Annual Report on UK Strategic Export Controls detailing the government’s approach to export licensing, including international commitments. The most recent quarterly data on strategic export controls is available on gov.uk (https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/strategic-export-controls-licensing-statistics-1-april-to-30-june-2023), as is the annual report for 2022 (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-strategic-export-controls-annual-report-2022).

As of January 2024, the Business and Trade Committee is the Parliamentary scrutiny committee with oversight of arms export controls, a role formerly carried out by the Select Committee on Arms Exports Controls (CAEC). A joint report outlining plans for future parliamentary scrutiny of strategic export controls was published by the Business and Trade, Foreign Affairs and International Development Committees on 23rd January 2024 and can be found on parliament.uk (https://committees.parliament.uk/publications/42982/documents/213812/default/).

The Government recognises the important role that the CAEC played in providing Parliamentary scrutiny of export controls and the work of the Export Control Joint Unit (ECJU). While Parliamentary scrutiny is a matter for the House, the government is committed to keeping the Business and Trade Committee updated on the work of the ECJU as it carries out its new scrutiny role. Other relevant select committees will no doubt continue to examine strategic export controls as part of their wider work, allowing a broad range of scrutiny across the House.

Hon and Rt Hon Members can also raise matters relating to the scrutiny of the UK's strategic export controls directly with the Department for Business and Trade.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
1st Feb 2024
To ask the Leader of the House, what proportion of named day questions were answered on or before the relevant named day by (a) all Government Departments and (b) the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in (i) the 2022-23 Parliamentary Session and (ii) the current Parliamentary session.

Data on response times to all written parliamentary questions is held by the House, rather than the Government. The ​Procedure ​Committee reports on departmental performance following the end of each Parliamentary Session, the most recent of which can be found on parliament.uk (https://committees.parliament.uk/work/1245/written-parliamentary-questions/publications), and the Government looks forward to receiving the Committee’s report on data from the 2022-23 Session. The Hon. Member may wish to approach the House regarding data for the current Parliamentary session.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
5th Jan 2024
To ask the Leader of the House, with reference to her oral contributions of 12 December 2022, Official Report column 823, and 30 March 2023, Official Report column 1168, when she plans that the the ministerial registration of interests, hospitality, gifts and so forth will be put on the same footing as Parliament’s.

In July 2023, the Cabinet Office published its response to three reports on strengthening ethics and integrity in central government. This states: “The Government will be implementing comprehensive reforms to improve the quality and accessibility of departments' transparency returns, which cover meetings, gifts, hospitality and travel.”

“The Cabinet Office is developing a single platform to collate and publish departments' transparency returns. This will provide a single public source of transparency data, replacing the system of separate publications. Following the deployment and adoption of an integrated database, the Government will look to move departments' transparency publications from a quarterly to a monthly basis.” The full response is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/strengthening-ethics-and-integrity-in-central-government

My office is already collating monthly returns and we are working with the Cabinet Office in order to publish these ahead of the new system being rolled out across Government.

Separately, and in line with the Ministerial Code, the List of Ministers’ Interests is published twice yearly with updates issued at other times as needed.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
5th Jan 2024
To ask the Leader of the House, if she will take steps to increase the amount of parliamentary time given to debate Private Members' Bills in the 2023-24 parliamentary session.

The Standing Orders provide for thirteen sitting Fridays per session. The House can agree, on a Government motion, to sit on additional Fridays when required. This is usually appropriate when the length of a session has been extended.

With the support of the Government, 24 Private Members’ Bills were passed in the last session, with only one additional Friday allocated. This is more than the 2021-22 session, which saw 13 Private Members’ Bills reach Royal Assent in thirteen sitting Fridays. This clearly demonstrates that sufficient support from across the House is more important in the successful passage of Private Members’ Bills than additional parliamentary time.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
14th Dec 2023
To ask the Leader of the House, if she will bring forward proposals to enable Members to directly scrutinise the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs.

The Procedure Committee is conducting an inquiry into this issue and it would not be appropriate for me to pre-empt the conclusions of that inquiry. The Government will respond to the Committee’s recommendations in the usual way once they have published their report.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
7th Dec 2023
To ask the Leader of the House, how much her office spent on hospitality in (a) 2021, (b) 2022 and (c) 2023.

We do not routinely publish this data, as has been the case under successive administrations. All Business Units within the Cabinet Office have a responsibility to keep official hospitality costs as low as possible and demonstrate good value for money.

Details of ministerial and senior official hospitality are published on a quarterly basis, and are available on GOV.UK.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
21st Nov 2023
To ask the Leader of the House, if she will bring forward proposals to implement the recommendations in the Third Report of the House of Commons Procedure Committee of Session 2009-10 on Accountability to the House of Commons of Secretaries of State in the House of Lords, HC496, which was published on 22 March 2010.

The Procedure Committee has announced an inquiry into this issue and it would not be appropriate for me to pre-empt the conclusions of that inquiry.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
18th Sep 2023
To ask the Leader of the House, how many Government Bills have been withdrawn in each year since 2010.

Parliament has been informed on each occasion a bill has been withdrawn. Information on the bills withdrawn in each session is available on the Parliament website at: https://bills.parliament.uk/.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
1st Sep 2023
To ask the Leader of the House, how many times has the Parliamentary Business and Legislation Cabinet Committee met in the last 12 months.

I refer the Hon Member to the answer to be provided by the Cabinet Office to his Question 196664.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
1st Sep 2023
To ask the Leader of the House, what steps she is taking to help increase public (a) engagement in and (b) understanding of the legislative process.

Government is working hard to prepare the legislative programme for the next session of Parliament in the usual way. The programme will be announced in the King’s Speech at the State Opening of Parliament on 7th November.

Good progress is being made in delivering the Government’s legislative programme and manifesto commitments. So far this session, 30 Government Bills have reached Royal Assent. In addition, the Government has worked with members on all sides of the House to deliver 16 private members' bills. Details of all Acts of Parliament can be found on legislation.gov.uk.

Parliament has shown that it provides flexibility in debating legislation and adapts when necessary, for example the passage of the Coronavirus Act and the recent legislation relating to the Northern Ireland budget.

Public trust and confidence in our democracy and its institutions is vital and this is something which I am keen to promote as Leader of the House.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
1st Sep 2023
To ask the Leader of the House, what steps she is taking to ensure flexibility in the legislative programme.

Government is working hard to prepare the legislative programme for the next session of Parliament in the usual way. The programme will be announced in the King’s Speech at the State Opening of Parliament on 7th November.

Good progress is being made in delivering the Government’s legislative programme and manifesto commitments. So far this session, 30 Government Bills have reached Royal Assent. In addition, the Government has worked with members on all sides of the House to deliver 16 private members' bills. Details of all Acts of Parliament can be found on legislation.gov.uk.

Parliament has shown that it provides flexibility in debating legislation and adapts when necessary, for example the passage of the Coronavirus Act and the recent legislation relating to the Northern Ireland budget.

Public trust and confidence in our democracy and its institutions is vital and this is something which I am keen to promote as Leader of the House.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
1st Sep 2023
To ask the Leader of the House, what steps she is taking to measure the (a) success and (b) efficiency of the government's legislative programme.

Government is working hard to prepare the legislative programme for the next session of Parliament in the usual way. The programme will be announced in the King’s Speech at the State Opening of Parliament on 7th November.

Good progress is being made in delivering the Government’s legislative programme and manifesto commitments. So far this session, 30 Government Bills have reached Royal Assent. In addition, the Government has worked with members on all sides of the House to deliver 16 private members' bills. Details of all Acts of Parliament can be found on legislation.gov.uk.

Parliament has shown that it provides flexibility in debating legislation and adapts when necessary, for example the passage of the Coronavirus Act and the recent legislation relating to the Northern Ireland budget.

Public trust and confidence in our democracy and its institutions is vital and this is something which I am keen to promote as Leader of the House.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
1st Sep 2023
To ask the Leader of the House, what steps she is taking to deliver the government's legislative programme for the upcoming parliamentary year.

Government is working hard to prepare the legislative programme for the next session of Parliament in the usual way. The programme will be announced in the King’s Speech at the State Opening of Parliament on 7th November.

Good progress is being made in delivering the Government’s legislative programme and manifesto commitments. So far this session, 30 Government Bills have reached Royal Assent. In addition, the Government has worked with members on all sides of the House to deliver 16 private members' bills. Details of all Acts of Parliament can be found on legislation.gov.uk.

Parliament has shown that it provides flexibility in debating legislation and adapts when necessary, for example the passage of the Coronavirus Act and the recent legislation relating to the Northern Ireland budget.

Public trust and confidence in our democracy and its institutions is vital and this is something which I am keen to promote as Leader of the House.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
1st Sep 2023
To ask the Leader of the House, what steps your department is taking to enhance cybersecurity and protect personal data

The Office of the Leader of the House of Commons is part of the Cabinet Office. I refer the Hon. Member to the response to be provided by the Cabinet Office (196755).

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
1st Sep 2023
To ask the Leader of the House, what steps she is taking to help improve the civil service's understanding of parliament.

The Parliamentary Capability Team provides training on managing parliamentary work to civil servants of all departments and grades. Their training is designed in partnership with the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel, the Leaders and Government Whips Offices in both Houses, and departmental parliamentary and legislative teams.

Since April 2022, the Parliamentary Capability Team has delivered a total of 15,933 training interventions (attendance at courses and events, and e-learning courses completed).

I recognise that my office and I have a role to play in promoting parliamentary capability and have taken a number of actions:

  • I have met with all departmental Permanent Secretaries.
  • I have participated in a ‘Leading in Parliament’ session with Senior Civil Servants.
  • In November 2022 my office published an updated Guide to Parliamentary Work which is available on Gov.uk (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guide-to-parliamentary-work).
  • My office oversees the Parliamentary Clerks’ Working Group, which brings together all departmental Parliamentary Clerks from across Whitehall to discuss topical issues and share best practice.
Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
1st Sep 2023
To ask the Leader of the House, what steps she is taking to improve parliamentary capability within the civil service.

The Parliamentary Capability Team provides training on managing parliamentary work to civil servants of all departments and grades. Their training is designed in partnership with the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel, the Leaders and Government Whips Offices in both Houses, and departmental parliamentary and legislative teams.

Since April 2022, the Parliamentary Capability Team has delivered a total of 15,933 training interventions (attendance at courses and events, and e-learning courses completed).

I recognise that my office and I have a role to play in promoting parliamentary capability and have taken a number of actions:

  • I have met with all departmental Permanent Secretaries.
  • I have participated in a ‘Leading in Parliament’ session with Senior Civil Servants.
  • In November 2022 my office published an updated Guide to Parliamentary Work which is available on Gov.uk (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guide-to-parliamentary-work).
  • My office oversees the Parliamentary Clerks’ Working Group, which brings together all departmental Parliamentary Clerks from across Whitehall to discuss topical issues and share best practice.
Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
1st Sep 2023
To ask the Leader of the House, whether she has made an estimate of how many and what proportion of Early Day Motions tabled by hon. and Rt hon. Members have resulted in the Government (a) changing policy and (b) taking particular action in the last year.

This information is not collected centrally. Decisions on each policy area are a matter for individual Departments.

Written Parliamentary Questions and Early Day Motions are important ways in which MPs can hold the Government to account and scrutinise policy.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
1st Sep 2023
To ask the Leader of the House, whether she has made an estimate of how many and what proportion of written questions from Hon and Rt hon. members have resulted in the Government (a) changing policy and (b) taking particular action in the last year.

This information is not collected centrally. Decisions on each policy area are a matter for individual Departments.

Written Parliamentary Questions and Early Day Motions are important ways in which MPs can hold the Government to account and scrutinise policy.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
1st Sep 2023
To ask the Leader of the House, whether she is taking steps to increase opportunities for the scrutiny of statutory instruments by backbenchers.

The Government is fully committed to a strong Parliament that effectively scrutinises legislation. In its response to the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee's report 'Losing Impact: why the Government’s impact assessment system is failing Parliament and the public' (HL Paper 116), the Government agreed that it is important that Parliament has the information it needs and that impact assessments should be published, where possible, when an applicable instrument is laid before Parliament.

Further to that response, the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee’s ‘Interim Report on the Work of the Committee in Session 2022-2023’ (HL Paper 205) sets out the steps the Government is taking on ensuring suitable opportunities for scrutiny by parliamentarians.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
1st Sep 2023
To ask the Leader of the House, how many Privy Council meetings has she attended in the last 12 months.

I have attended 14 meetings of the Privy Council within the last twelve months.

Published details of all Privy Council meetings and business transacted since 2010 can be found at: https://privycouncil.independent.gov.uk/meetings-and-orders/orders-in-council/

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
1st Sep 2023
To ask the Leader of the House, what steps she is taking to help improve collaboration with the House of Commons Commission.

As the Government’s representative on the House of Commons Commission, I work closely with all Members of the Commission on a range of matters and will continue to do so.

The Commission is responsible for the administration and services of the House of Commons. In order to inform the Commission’s work, I recently instigated a survey of all Members to better understand their needs and the support required to do their job and was pleased by the level of participation. I look forward to considering its findings.

Further information regarding the agendas and decisions of the House of Commons Commission is available on parliament.uk.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
1st Sep 2023
To ask the Leader of the House, what her priorities are for providing oversight of the House of Commons Members Estimate.

The Members Estimate Committee, which has the same MP membership as the House of Commons Commission, is appointed by the House of Commons under Standing Order 152D. The Committee’s agenda items are often discussed as part of the House of Commons Commission meetings and, as the Government’s representative on the House of Commons Commission, I have regular discussions with Members of the Commission on a range of matters and will continue to do so.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
1st Sep 2023
To ask the Leader of the House, what steps she is taking to help ensure that Members' requests for assistance on ministerial correspondence are addressed in a timely manner.

Parliament has a right to hold Ministers to account and, as Leader of the House, I expect Government Ministers to respond quickly and effectively to Members’ correspondence. I will continue to drive that message and I encourage members who get an unsatisfactory response to write to me and I will take this up for any Member who does not get a proper response.

I recognise that my office and I have a role to play in making representations to Government on behalf of the House of Commons, and have taken a number of actions:

  • I write to Cabinet colleagues every week following Business Questions to take up the concerns raised by Members, including in relation to delayed responses to correspondence.
  • I have met with all departmental Permanent Secretaries where I reiterated the importance of substantive and timely answers to written parliamentary questions.
  • I met separately with the Home Office Permanent Secretary following a number of concerns raised during Business Questions.
  • I participated in a ‘Leading in Parliament’ session with Senior Civil Servants.
  • In line with the practice of my predecessors, I have written to all members of Cabinet.
  • My office oversees the Parliamentary Clerks’ Working Group, which brings together all departmental Parliamentary Clerks from across Whitehall to discuss topical issues and share best practice.

The Parliamentary Capability Team in the Cabinet Office also provides training on managing parliamentary work to civil servants of all departments and grades, including blended learning courses on ministerial correspondence and tailored workshops for Senior Civil Servants. Since April 2022, 1,160 civil servants from across government have attended training provided by the Parliamentary Capability Team on managing Ministerial Correspondence and Written Parliamentary Questions.

As per the Cabinet Office’s Guide to Handling Correspondence (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/handling-government-correspondence-guidance), departments and agencies should aim to respond to correspondence within a 20-working day target deadline. The Cabinet Office published data on this for 2022 for all government departments on GOV.UK in March 2023, and will be publishing data for Q1 and Q2 2023 shortly. The 2022 data can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/data-on-responses-to-correspondence-from-mps-and-peers-2022.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
1st Sep 2023
To ask the Leader of the House, how many meetings she has had with the Chief Whip to discuss Government priorities and the legislative programme in the past 12 months.

As Leader of the House of Commons, I meet regularly with Cabinet colleagues to discuss issues across my portfolio and will continue to do so.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
1st Sep 2023
To ask the Leader of the House, what data their Department holds on the average response time to written parliamentary questions in the last six months; and what assessment they have made of the adequacy of that response time.

Parliament has a right to hold Ministers to account and, as Leader of the House, I expect Government Ministers to respond quickly and effectively to written parliamentary questions. I will continue to drive that message and I encourage members who get an unsatisfactory response to write to me and I will take this up for any Member who does not get a proper response.

Data on response times to written parliamentary questions is held by the House, not government, and the ​Procedure ​Committee has a strong track record of calling Ministers in to look at​ departmental​ performance where there are issues​. Their regular reporting of performance continues to be an effective tool​. ​I note the Procedure Committee's report from earlier in this session on written parliamentary questions during the 2021-22 session​ and ​I was pleased to read that the number of answers provided on time has improved from the 2019-21 session. ​I hope we will see this improvement continue when the Committee publishes its next report following the current session. ​

I recognise that my office and I have a role to play in making representations to Government on behalf of the House of Commons, and have taken a number actions:

  • In line with the practice of my predecessors, I have written to all members of Cabinet.
  • I met with all departmental Permanent Secretaries where I reiterated the importance of substantive and timely answers to written parliamentary questions.
  • I participated in a ‘Leading in Parliament’ session with Senior Civil Servants.
  • I met with the Home Office Permanent Secretary following a number of concerns raised during Business Questions.
  • In November 2022 my office published an updated Guide to Parliamentary Work which is available on Gov.uk and includes guidance for civil servants on answering written parliamentary questions (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guide-to-parliamentary-work).
  • My office oversees the Parliamentary Clerks’ Working Group, which brings together all departmental Parliamentary Clerks from across Whitehall to discuss topical issues and share best practice.

The Parliamentary Capability Team in the Cabinet Office also provides training on managing parliamentary work to civil servants of all departments and grades, including blended learning courses on Written Parliamentary Questions and tailored workshops for Senior Civil Servants. Since April 2022, 1012 civil servants from across government have attended training provided by the Parliamentary Capability Team on managing Written Parliamentary Questions.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
1st Sep 2023
To ask the Leader of the House, what steps their Department is taking to improve response times to written parliamentary questions.

Parliament has a right to hold Ministers to account and, as Leader of the House, I expect Government Ministers to respond quickly and effectively to written parliamentary questions. I will continue to drive that message and I encourage members who get an unsatisfactory response to write to me and I will take this up for any Member who does not get a proper response.

Data on response times to written parliamentary questions is held by the House, not government, and the ​Procedure ​Committee has a strong track record of calling Ministers in to look at​ departmental​ performance where there are issues​. Their regular reporting of performance continues to be an effective tool​. ​I note the Procedure Committee's report from earlier in this session on written parliamentary questions during the 2021-22 session​ and ​I was pleased to read that the number of answers provided on time has improved from the 2019-21 session. ​I hope we will see this improvement continue when the Committee publishes its next report following the current session. ​

I recognise that my office and I have a role to play in making representations to Government on behalf of the House of Commons, and have taken a number actions:

  • In line with the practice of my predecessors, I have written to all members of Cabinet.
  • I met with all departmental Permanent Secretaries where I reiterated the importance of substantive and timely answers to written parliamentary questions.
  • I participated in a ‘Leading in Parliament’ session with Senior Civil Servants.
  • I met with the Home Office Permanent Secretary following a number of concerns raised during Business Questions.
  • In November 2022 my office published an updated Guide to Parliamentary Work which is available on Gov.uk and includes guidance for civil servants on answering written parliamentary questions (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guide-to-parliamentary-work).
  • My office oversees the Parliamentary Clerks’ Working Group, which brings together all departmental Parliamentary Clerks from across Whitehall to discuss topical issues and share best practice.

The Parliamentary Capability Team in the Cabinet Office also provides training on managing parliamentary work to civil servants of all departments and grades, including blended learning courses on Written Parliamentary Questions and tailored workshops for Senior Civil Servants. Since April 2022, 1012 civil servants from across government have attended training provided by the Parliamentary Capability Team on managing Written Parliamentary Questions.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
18th Jul 2023
To ask the Leader of the House, if she will take steps with Cabinet colleagues to require companies regulated by (a) Ofcom and (b) other statutory bodies to respond to correspondence from hon. Members.

There are no plans to regulate how private companies deal with correspondence through Ofcom or other statutory bodies, as it would not be within their remit.

More widely, Arm’s-length Bodies (ALBs) are a vital part of how the Government delivers policies and public services. It is important that they are accountable and transparent. It is a routine courtesy and a right of Parliament that members receive full and timely responses and I encourage Members who get an unsatisfactory response to write to me and I will endeavour to take this up for any Member who does not get a proper response.

The Parliamentary Capability Team in the Cabinet Office provides training on managing parliamentary work to civil servants of all departments and grades, including civil servants in ALBs.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
19th Jul 2023
To ask the Leader of the House, what the (a) total and (b) per Member cost of the House of (i) Lords and (ii) Commons was in the latest period for which data is available.

This information is not held centrally.

The basic annual salary for an MP from 1st April 2023 is £86,584. MPs also receive expenses to cover the costs of running an office, employing staff, having somewhere to live in London or their constituency, and travelling between Parliament and their constituency. The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) which was created in 2009 by the Parliamentary Standards Act, is responsible for setting and regulating MPs’ salaries, pensions, business costs and expenses. IPSA is quite rightly independent of Parliament and the Government. At the end of each financial year, IPSA publishes an annual report and accounts which can be found on IPSA’s website (https://www.theipsa.org.uk/annual-reports).

Most members of the House of Lords do not receive a salary for their parliamentary duties but are eligible to receive allowances and, within certain limits, the travel expenses they incur in fulfilling their parliamentary duties. The House of Lords publishes quarterly data on the claims made by Peers which can be found on the Parliament website (https://www.parliament.uk/business/lords/whos-in-the-house-of-lords/house-of-lords-expenses/)

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
18th Jul 2023
To ask the Leader of the House, when the motion to approve the Houses in Multiple Occupation (Asylum Seeker Accommodation) (England) Regulations 2023 will be brought to the floor of the House for a decision.

The Houses in Multiple Occupation (Asylum Seeker Accommodation) (England) Regulations 2023 were laid by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities on 30th March 2023 and debated in Delegated Legislation Committee on the 10th May 2023. All future business will be set out on the Order Paper in the usual way.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
17th Jul 2023
To ask the Leader of the House, how many statutory instruments (a) required correction slips and (b) were (i) made and (ii) issued under the free issue procedure between 2006 and 2016.

The National Archives is responsible for determining the publishing costs of legislation, and for operating the correction slip and free issue process on behalf of the Government.

Departments pay a publishing fee for each correction slip or free issue Statutory Instrument (SI). Since January 2019, the publishing costs have been as follows:

  • SI publishing fee - £305

  • Explanatory Memoranda (if relevant) - £145

  • Impact Assessment (if relevant) - £55

  • Correction slip - £20.50

Issuing an SI under the free issue procedure incurs a cost on top of the SI publishing fee. The average additional cost for issuing an SI under the free issue procedure is £39.90.

The distribution of the SI also incurs a cost. If an SI is issued free of charge due to an error in an earlier SI, The Stationery Office (TSO) will identify everyone who bought a copy of the original SI and arrange for them to receive a free copy of the new version, paid for by the department. The cost of this will vary for each SI.

The number of SIs between 2006 and 2016 that required correction slips and were made and issued under the free issue procedure is as follows:

Year

Number of UKSIs made that year

Correction slips issued for made UKSIs

Number of UKSIs issued under the free issue procedure

2006

1554

110

48

2007

1639

121

53

2008

1483

127

51

2009

1817

112

68

2010

2801

76

51

2011

2808

63

38

2012

3002

74

31

2013

2969

79

24

2014

3131

49

38

2015

1743

42

41

2016

948

64

23

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
17th Jul 2023
To ask the Leader of the House, what the average cost to the public purse is for (a) issuing a correction slip for a statutory instrument and (b) statutory instruments (i) made and (ii) issued under the free issue procedure.

The National Archives is responsible for determining the publishing costs of legislation, and for operating the correction slip and free issue process on behalf of the Government.

Departments pay a publishing fee for each correction slip or free issue Statutory Instrument (SI). Since January 2019, the publishing costs have been as follows:

  • SI publishing fee - £305

  • Explanatory Memoranda (if relevant) - £145

  • Impact Assessment (if relevant) - £55

  • Correction slip - £20.50

Issuing an SI under the free issue procedure incurs a cost on top of the SI publishing fee. The average additional cost for issuing an SI under the free issue procedure is £39.90.

The distribution of the SI also incurs a cost. If an SI is issued free of charge due to an error in an earlier SI, The Stationery Office (TSO) will identify everyone who bought a copy of the original SI and arrange for them to receive a free copy of the new version, paid for by the department. The cost of this will vary for each SI.

The number of SIs between 2006 and 2016 that required correction slips and were made and issued under the free issue procedure is as follows:

Year

Number of UKSIs made that year

Correction slips issued for made UKSIs

Number of UKSIs issued under the free issue procedure

2006

1554

110

48

2007

1639

121

53

2008

1483

127

51

2009

1817

112

68

2010

2801

76

51

2011

2808

63

38

2012

3002

74

31

2013

2969

79

24

2014

3131

49

38

2015

1743

42

41

2016

948

64

23

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
12th Jul 2023
To ask the Leader of the House, with reference to her oral contribution of 12 June 2023 on Members of Parliament: Risk-based Exclusion, Offical Report, column 110, whether she plans for the new cross-party forum to consider proposals on the transparency of political donations.

Transparency of funding is a key cornerstone of the UK’s existing electoral system. There is already an established framework which requires the political parties to record all donations, and certain donations must be reported to the Electoral Commission. This includes donations from impermissible donors, and also donations from the same permissible source that amount to over £7,500 in one calendar year. For transparency, donation reports are published online by the Electoral Commission for public scrutiny.

The terms of reference for the cross-party forum will be agreed in due course.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
17th Jul 2023
To ask the Leader of the House, how many oral statements the Rt Hon Member for Richmond (Yorks) has made to the House of Commons in each of the last five years.

This information is not held centrally. I would refer the hon. member to the House of Commons Library service.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
17th Jul 2023
To ask the Leader of the House, what proportion of Prime Minister's Questions were attended by each of the last five Prime Ministers.

This information is not held centrally.

I refer the hon. member to the research briefing provided by the House of Commons Library (https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/sn04401/).

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
17th Jul 2023
To ask the Leader of the House, with reference to her oral contribution of 12 June 2023, Official Report, column 83, what recent progress she has made on appointing an adviser on standards.

The Government is carefully considering this appointment to ensure that an adviser has the necessary expertise and shall provide an update in due course.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
17th Jul 2023
To ask the Leader of the House, with reference to her oral contribution of 12 June 2023 on Members of Parliament: Risk-based Exclusion, Official Report column 83, who she is bringing in to advise her on these matters.

The Government is carefully considering this appointment to ensure that an adviser has the necessary expertise and shall provide an update in due course.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
3rd Jul 2023
To ask the Leader of the House, what assessment she has made of the adequacy of scrutiny of the Illegal Migration Bill in the light of the date of publication of an impact assessment of that Bill.

The Government is clear that Parliament should have the information it needs and that impact assessments should be published, where possible, when legislation is laid before Parliament.

On 13th March 2023, the House agreed a programme motion for the Illegal Migration Bill. The Bill will receive further scrutiny when it returns to the House for consideration of Lords amendments on the 11th July 2023.

The Hon. Member may wish to note that the Home Office also published the Child’s Rights Impact Assessment on the 5th July 2023.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
3rd Jul 2023
To ask the Leader of the House, how many Statutory instruments required (a) correcting and (b) replacing in the last five sessions.

Correction slips are used to correct typographical errors. A statutory instrument (SI) containing a substantive error must be replaced by amending secondary legislation. This is issued under the free issue procedure, further information on which can be found at page 128 of the National Archives’ Statutory Instrument Practice (https://www.legislation.gov.uk/pdfs/StatutoryInstrumentPractice_5th_Edition.pdf).

The National Archives holds information on SI statistics by calendar year. Information from 2016 to 2022, which covers the last five parliamentary sessions, is provided below.

Correction slips issued for made SIs

Number of SIs made and issued under the free issue procedure

2022

67

66

2021

67

112

2020

96

77

2019

95

57

2018

63

35

2017

71

30

2016

64

23

Information on SIs replacing legislation not issued under the free issue procedure is not held centrally. To provide this information would therefore incur disproportionate cost.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
3rd Jul 2023
To ask the Leader of the House, what the average number of clauses in government bills that received Royal Assent was in the last five sessions.

In the last five sessions, the following number of Government Bills reached Royal Assent:

Session

Number of Bills reaching Royal Assent

2021-22

34

2019-21

44

2019

3

2017-19

51

2016-17

32

The average number of clauses in Government Bills that received Royal Assent in that period is not held centrally. To provide this information would therefore incur disproportionate cost.

The full text of each Government Act from each of the last five sessions is available on legislation.gov.uk.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
2nd Jun 2023
To ask the Leader of the House, whether Stonewall was consulted on the drafting of the Guide to Gender-Neutral Drafting published by the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel and the Government Legal Department in 2019.

The Office of the Parliamentary Counsel will publish its revised drafting guidance on GOV.UK in due course, and a copy will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses. This guidance will reflect the Government’s position as set out in the Written Statement of 23 May 2022, Official Report, HCWS47.

The 2019 Guide to Gender-Neutral Drafting is not a Government publication. It was produced for an external seminar, and although based on guidance of the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel, it was not published by them. Stonewall was not consulted in relation to either publication.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
2nd Jun 2023
To ask the Leader of the House, pursuant to the Written Statement of 23 May 2022, Official Report, HCWS47, on Review of legislative drafting, whether the Guide to Gender-Neutral Drafting published in 2019 by the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel and the Government Legal Department has been withdrawn.

The Office of the Parliamentary Counsel will publish its revised drafting guidance on GOV.UK in due course, and a copy will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses. This guidance will reflect the Government’s position as set out in the Written Statement of 23 May 2022, Official Report, HCWS47.

The 2019 Guide to Gender-Neutral Drafting is not a Government publication. It was produced for an external seminar, and although based on guidance of the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel, it was not published by them. Stonewall was not consulted in relation to either publication.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
2nd Jun 2023
To ask the Leader of the House, with reference to the Written Statement of 23 May 2022, Official Report, HCWS47, on Review of legislative drafting, whether the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel's revised drafting guidance has been approved by Ministers; and whether she plans to place a copy of the approved guidance in the Library of the House.

The Office of the Parliamentary Counsel will publish its revised drafting guidance on GOV.UK in due course, and a copy will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses. This guidance will reflect the Government’s position as set out in the Written Statement of 23 May 2022, Official Report, HCWS47.

The 2019 Guide to Gender-Neutral Drafting is not a Government publication. It was produced for an external seminar, and although based on guidance of the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel, it was not published by them. Stonewall was not consulted in relation to either publication.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
8th Jun 2023
To ask the Leader of the House, pursuant to the answer of 7 June 2023 to Question 187539 on Legislation, when the Government plans to bring forward the Transport bill.

The Government has brought forward an ambitious legislative programme, with 24 bills currently before Parliament. Future business will be announced in the usual way.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
8th Jun 2023
To ask the Leader of the House, what steps she is taking to programme business to help prevent a build-up of legislation in the House of Lords.

The Government has brought forward an ambitious legislative programme, with 24 bills currently before Parliament, and we will continue to make progress. So far this session 40 bills have been exchanged between the Houses, of which 24 have received Royal Assent.

The arrangement of business in the House of Lords is a matter for that place. I will announce future business in the House of Commons in the usual way.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
2nd Jun 2023
To ask the Leader of the House, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of establishing a committee to consider international agreements in the House of Commons.

The Business and Trade Committee has an important role to play in the scrutiny of the Department for Business and Trade and its public bodies, including international trade agreements. The International Trade Committee previously conducted inquiries into the Free Trade Agreements with Australia and New Zealand, as well as more recent inquiries into the UK’s CPTPP accession and UK trade negotiations with India and the Gulf Cooperation Group.

The Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010 (CRaG) provides an effective and robust framework for scrutiny of treaties that require ratification, including Free Trade Agreements. In addition, any legislation required to implement international agreements needs to be scrutinised and passed by Parliament in the usual way.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
5th Jun 2023
To ask the Leader of the House, with reference to her oral Answer to the Question from the hon. Member for Stockport on 20 April 2023, Official Report, column 386, when she plans to send details of the Home Office surgery to the hon. Member.

Following Business Questions on the 20th April 2023 I wrote to the Home Office to raise this matter. I understand that the Home Office has now contacted the hon. Member for Stockport to provide details of the next surgery near his constituency and that the case raised on the 20th April 2023 has now been resolved.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
2nd Jun 2023
To ask the Leader of the House, if she will make an assessment of the potential impact of Members of Parliament holding second jobs on the service they are able to provide to their constituents.

The Committee on Standards has carefully considered the matter of MPs holding second jobs and conducting outside work and resolved not to recommend limiting this in the absence of a consensus in favour of restrictions on time spent and earnings from outside work.

The Government believes that an MPs’ primary role is and must be to serve their constituents and represent their interests in Parliament. That is why we brought forward a motion implementing proposals recommended in the Committee on Standards’ reports on a revised Code of Conduct and Guide to the Rules for MPs.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
2nd Jun 2023
To ask the Leader of the House, which bills the Government (a) has and (b) has not withdrawn that it will not be proceeding with that were included in the 2022 Queen’s Speech.

The Government has delivered on many of its 2019 manifesto commitments, and will continue to do so. The 2022 Queen's Speech set out an ambitious legislative programme and so far this session 24 Bills have received Royal Assent.

The House has been informed of three Bills that were announced in the Queen's Speech on 10 May 2022 that have been introduced to Parliament and will no longer make progress:

The measures in the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill will now be pursued as single measure Bills. We remain fully committed to delivering our manifesto commitments and this approach is now the surest and the quickest way of doing so.

The Government will inform the House of any further changes in the usual way.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
10th May 2023
To ask the Leader of the House, what discussions she has had with Cabinet colleagues on ensuring that their Departments meet deadlines for replying to Members’ correspondence.

Parliament has a right to hold Ministers to account and, as Leader of the House, I expect Government Ministers to respond quickly and effectively to Members’ correspondence. I will continue to drive that message and I encourage members who get an unsatisfactory response to write to me and I will take this up for any Member who does not get a proper response.

I recognise that my office and I have a role to play in making representations to Government on behalf of the House of Commons, and have taken a number of actions:

  • Over the 2022 Summer recess my office conducted a series of discussions across Whitehall regarding the importance of timely and quality responses to Members.
  • In line with the practice of my predecessors, I have written to all members of Cabinet.
  • I participated in a ‘Leading in Parliament’ session with Senior Civil Servants.
  • I met with the Home Office Permanent Secretary following a number of concerns raised during Business Questions, and I have been pleased to note an improvement in performance in that department’s statistics.
  • In March I met with all departmental Permanent Secretaries where I reiterated the importance of substantive and timely answers to correspondence.
  • My office oversees the Parliamentary Clerks’ Working Group, which brings together all departmental Parliamentary Clerks from across Whitehall to discuss topical issues and share best practice.

The Parliamentary Capability Team in the Cabinet Office also provides training on managing parliamentary work to civil servants of all departments and grades, including blended learning courses on ministerial correspondence and tailored workshops for Senior Civil Servants. Since April 2022, 686 civil servants from across government have attended training provided by the Parliamentary Capability Team on managing Ministerial Correspondence and Written Parliamentary Questions.

In addition, the Cabinet Office Guide to Handling Correspondence, which is available on Gov.uk, includes guidance for civil servants on how to handle correspondence from MPs, Peers, members of the devolved legislatures and members of the public (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/handling-government-correspondence-guidance).

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons