HC Deb 21 March 2000 vol 346 c850
44. Mr. Geoffrey Clifton-Brown (Cotswold)

If she will propose to the Select Committee on Modernisation of the House of Commons that it examine the cut—off time for the tabling of oral questions. [114054]

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

My right hon. Friend has no plans to do so, but is always happy to respond to Members' concerns. However, work on this subject was considered by the Procedure Committee in 1991 and 1993.

Mr. Clifton-Brown

Will the Minister consider referring the matter to the Modernisation Committee? It seems unnecessarily restrictive that hon. Members have to table their questions by 5 pm. Would not a cut-off time of 7 pm, when there is often a vote—particularly on a Monday—be more appropriate on Mondays and for the rest of the week?

Mr. Tipping

The Procedure Committee and the Speaker are always willing to consider such matters. With new technology, a later cut-off time could well be considered. I think that it would be important to have the same cut-off time for every day of the week. However, if the hon. Gentleman is anxious to pursue the matter, we ought to refer it to the Procedure Committee.