In November 2006, the Committee launched two inquiries:
one on strengthening the role of the backbencher, the other on
making better use of non-legislative time. We have always seen
these issues as closely connected and took evidence on them concurrently.
Having assessed the evidence we received it seems sensible to
produce a single Report dealing with both issues.
In the course of the inquiry we held a number of
informal meetings with officials and the whips. We took evidence
in public from members of the media, academics, Members, the Chairman
of Ways and Means and the Clerk of the House. We received twenty-nine
written memoranda. We are grateful to all those who contributed
to our inquiry and who helped to inform our deliberations. We
are also grateful to the Speaker for agreeing to meet us and for
sharing his insights.