HC Deb 08 December 2000 vol 359 cc13-4W
Mr. Khabra

To ask the President of the Council what plans she has to change the order of oral questions. [142375]

Mrs. Beckett

With the agreement of the Opposition and the Northern Ireland parties, I have agreed to change the rota for oral questions to allow Northern Ireland Ministers and Northern Ireland MPs to be present in Northern Ireland for president Clinton's proposed visit on Wednesday 13 December. I trust that other MPs with an interest in Northern Ireland matters will understand the reasons for this change.

These are clearly exceptional circumstances, and reflect the importance of this visit within the context of the peace process.

I am today asking the House to approve a motion which will allow oral questions to the Secretary of State for Wales to be taken on Wednesday 13 December, with Northern Ireland oral questions being taken on Wednesday 20 December. Plaid Cymru have agreed to this change.