HC Deb 29 March 1999 vol 328 cc729-31
46. Mr. John Bercow (Buckingham)

If she will make a statement on recent Government proposals for reforming the procedures of the House. [77418]

The Parliamentary Secretary, Privy Council Office (Mr. Paddy Tipping)

The Modernisation Committee has considered a number of proposals based on evidence from the Government and elsewhere. The Committee's most recent report recommends an experiment with a parallel forum sitting in the Grand Committee Room off Westminster Hall.

Mr. Bercow

I thank the hon. Gentleman for that answer. What does he regard as the principal outstanding problem relating to the procedures of the House, and how and when does he propose to address it?

Mr. Tipping

The problem is that 659 hon. Members, including the hon. Gentleman, want to raise issues on the Floor of the House and have their say. The Government welcome that and seek new opportunities to give Back-Bench Members the chance to raise issues.