House of Commons
| Session 2007 - 08|
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|Summary Agenda Wednesday 21 November 2007
Here you can browse the House of Commons Summary Agenda for Wednesday 21 November 2007.
Time limits on speeches
A new temporary Standing Order on time limits on speeches, agreed on 25th October, will have effect for the current Session.
The new Standing Order will allow as before for the Speaker to announce time limits on backbench speeches for the whole or for part of a debate. The new Order allows for the time limit to be varied upwards or downwards by a subsequent announcement from the Chair, if it becomes apparent that there is significantly more or less time than anticipated, so as to ensure maximum possible participation and the use of all the time available.
No specific time limits are specified in the Order, but Mr Speaker has indicated that the limit will as hitherto normally be no less than three minutes and no more than 15 minutes. The provision of an additional minute plus the time of each intervention up to a maximum of two interventions remains.
Front bench speeches
A time limit of 20 minutes may on occasion be applied to the opening front bench speeches of the Government, the Official Opposition and the second largest opposition party. A minute is added for each intervention (but no extra time for time taken by the intervention itself) up to a maximum of 15 interventions.
Time limits in topical debates
The new temporary Standing Order on topical debates provides for a special regime of mandatory speech limits on front bench speeches as below–
— Minister: 10 minutes (when opening the debate)
— Official Opposition: 10 minutes (either at the outset or before the Ministerial wind-up)
— Second largest opposition party: six minutes (either at the outset or before the Ministerial wind-up).
In each case a minute is added for each intervention up to a maximum of 10 for Government and Official Opposition and six for the second largest opposition party, when they speak at the beginning of a debate. In topical debates, time limits are also likely to be imposed on backbench speeches in accordance with the Standing Order on Time Limits on Speeches (as above).
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