Points of Order Debate

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Department: Leader of the House

Points of Order

Penny Mordaunt Excerpts
Thursday 1st February 2024

(2 months, 1 week ago)

Commons Chamber
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Ian Lavery Portrait Ian Lavery (Wansbeck) (Lab)
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On a point of order, Mr Speaker. I apologise for my misunderstanding earlier, but I seek your advice on how Back Benchers who have successfully applied for a Backbench Business debate can have ample and adequate opportunities to take part in debates that are given adequate time.

Last week, the right hon. Member for Portsmouth North (Penny Mordaunt) put forward an alteration to the business of the House, which was fine. This week’s business has also been altered, again understandably, given the importance of the Northern Ireland motion for approval and the United Kingdom internal market motion for approval. Perhaps they could have taken a whole day; I am sure that would have been welcomed by Northern Ireland Members. However, the reality is that we might have only an hour for two debates: the general debate on miners and mining communities, and the motion for freedom and democracy in Iran. Frankly, that is not acceptable. Can you advise the House, Mr Speaker, on how Back Benchers can have their voice heard in this place?

Penny Mordaunt Portrait The Leader of the House of Commons (Penny Mordaunt)
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Further to that point of order, Mr Speaker. I am happy to respond to the hon. Gentleman, and I understand his disappointment. I hope there will be a good amount of time for Backbench Business debates. The Chairman of the Backbench Business Committee, the hon. Member for Gateshead (Ian Mearns), who is sitting next to the hon. Gentleman, will know that I am keen to accommodate and give time for these important debates and to support the innovation that is the Backbench Business Committee.

It will be for the House to decide the length of time it takes on these two statutory instruments. Yesterday, there was considerable representation for more time to be given, and for the House to have a mechanism to allow the SIs to be taken individually. The Government listened, and on this important matter we think it is important that the House has that time.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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The only thing I can add is that the hon. Gentleman is sitting next the hon. Member for Gateshead (Ian Mearns), who I am sure will offer a very sympathetic ear and, I hope, could schedule more time for that very important issue.