Standing Orders of the House of Commons - Public Business 2002 (2)(2) Contents


STANDING ORDERS 2002(2)(2)

Sittings of the House



  9.(1) The House shall meet on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays at half-past two o'clock and Thursdays at half-past eleven o'clock and will first proceed with private business, motions for unopposed returns and questions. Sittings of the House.
  
  (2) No motion for the adjournment of the House shall be made on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday until all the questions asked at the commencement of public business shall have been disposed of, and, save as provided in paragraph (1) of Standing Order No. 24 (Adjournment on specific and important matter that should have urgent consideration), no Member other than a Minister of the Crown may make such a motion on any day before the orders of the day or notices of motions shall have been entered upon.
  
  (3) At ten o'clock on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays and at seven o'clock on Thursdays (the 'moment of interruption'), the proceedings on any business then under consideration shall, save as otherwise provided in paragraph (1) of Standing Order No. 15 (Exempted business), be interrupted; and, if the House be in committee, the chairman shall leave the chair, and report progress and ask leave to sit again; and if a motion has been made for the adjournment of the House (unless that motion is included in a motion to be made after the interruption of business under paragraph (2) of Standing Order No. 15 (Exempted business)), or of the debate, or in committee that the chairman do report progress, or do leave the chair, every such motion shall lapse.
  
  (4) On the interruption of business the closure may be claimed; and if moved, or if proceedings under Standing Order No. 36 (Closure of debate) be then in progress, the Speaker or the chairman shall not leave the chair until the questions consequent thereon and any further question, as provided in Standing Order No. 36 (Closure of debate), have been decided.
  
  (5) An order of the day not disposed of before the termination of a sitting shall be deferred to such day being a day on which the House ordinarily sits as the Member in charge of that order may appoint and any order of the day not reached before the termination of a sitting shall, unless the Member in charge of the order has given other instructions to the Clerk at the Table, stand over until the next sitting.
  
  (6) After the business under consideration at the moment of interruption has been disposed of, no opposed business shall be taken, save as provided in Standing Order No. 15 (Exempted business).
  
  (7) The House shall not be adjourned except in pursuance of a resolution or by the Speaker in pursuance of Standing Order No. 46 (Power of the Speaker to adjourn House or suspend sitting):
  
  Provided that, when a substantive motion for the adjournment of the House has been made at or after the moment of interruption, the Speaker shall, after the expiration of half an hour after that motion has been made, adjourn the House without putting any question.
  
  10.—(1) On days on which the House shall sit after an address has been agreed to in answer to Her Majesty's Speech there shall be a sitting in Westminster Hall—Sittings in Westminster Hall.
  
    (a) on Tuesdays and Wednesdays between half-past nine o'clock and two o'clock; and

    (b) on Thursdays beginning at half-past two o'clock and continuing for up to three hours (and in calculating that period no account shall be taken of any period during which the sitting may be suspended owing to a division being called in the House or a Committee of the whole House).

  (2) Any Member of the House may take part in a sitting in Westminster Hall.
  
  (3) Subject to paragraph (13) below, the business taken at any sitting in Westminster Hall shall be such as the Chairman of Ways and Means shall appoint and may include oral answers to questions under arrangements to be made by him.
  
  (4) The Chairman of Ways and Means or a Deputy Chairman shall take the chair in Westminster Hall as Deputy Speaker; and the House may appoint not more than four other members of the Chairman's Panel to sit in Westminster Hall as Deputy Speaker.
  
  (5) Any member of the Chairman's Panel may also take the chair at a sitting in Westminster Hall when so requested by the Chairman of Ways and Means, with the duties and powers conferred on additional Deputy Speakers; and Members so appointed shall be addressed by name.
  
  (6) Any order made or resolution come to at a sitting in Westminster Hall (other than a resolution to adjourn) shall be reported to the House by the Deputy Speaker and shall be deemed to be an order or resolution of the House.
  
  (7) If a motion be made by a Minister of the Crown that an order of the day be proceeded with at a sitting in Westminster Hall, the question thereon shall be put forthwith, but such motion may be made only with the leave of the House and may not be made on a Friday.
  
  (8) The quorum at a sitting in Westminster Hall shall be three.
  
  (9) If at a sitting in Westminster Hall the opinion of the Deputy Speaker as to the decision of a question (other than a question for adjournment) is challenged, that question shall not be decided, and the Deputy Speaker shall report to the House accordingly; and any such question shall be put forthwith upon a motion being made in the House.
  
  (10) If any business other than a motion for adjournment is under consideration at a sitting in Westminster Hall, and not fewer than six Members rise in their places and signify their objection to further proceedings, that business shall not be further proceeded with in Westminster Hall, and the Deputy Speaker shall report to the House accordingly, and any order under paragraph (7) above relating thereto shall be discharged.
  
  (11) At the end of each sitting in Westminster Hall, unless a question for adjournment has previously been agreed to, the Deputy Speaker shall adjourn the sitting without putting any question; and proceedings on any business which has been entered upon but not disposed of shall lapse.
  
  (12) The provisions of Standing Orders No. 29 (Powers of chair to propose question), No. 36 (Closure of debate), No. 37 (Majority for closure or proposal of question), No. 38 (Procedure on divisions), No. 39 (Voting), No. 40 (Division unnecessarily claimed), No. 41 (Quorum), No. 43 (Disorderly conduct), No. 44 (Order in debate), No. 45 (Members suspended, &c., to withdraw from precincts), No. 45A (Suspension of salary of Members suspended) and No. 163 (Motions to sit in private) shall not apply to sittings in Westminster Hall.
  
  (13) In each Session, the Speaker shall appoint not more than six Thursdays on which the business to be taken in Westminster Hall should be debates on select committee reports chosen by the Liaison Committee.
  
  11.(1) The House shall meet on Fridays at half-past nine o'clock, and will first proceed with private business, petitions, and motions for unopposed returns. Friday sittings.
  
  (2) Standing Orders No. 9 (Sittings of the House) and No. 15 (Exempted business) shall apply to the sittings on Fridays with—
  
    (a) the omission of paragraph (1) of Standing Order No. 9; and

    (b) the insertion of references to half-past two o'clock as the moment of interruption; and

    (c) the substitution of reference to half-past three o'clock for reference to eleven o'clock in relation to proceedings on nomination of members of departmental select committees.

  
  (3) In the application of Standing Order No. 17 (Delegated legislation (negative procedure)) to the sittings on Fridays there shall be substituted references to four o'clock for references to half-past eleven o'clock.
  
  (4) At eleven o'clock the Speaker may interrupt the proceedings in order to permit questions to be asked which are in his opinion of an urgent character and relate either to matters of public importance or to the arrangement of business, statements to be made by Ministers, or personal explanations to be made by Members.
  
  (5) If the House is in committee at eleven o'clock, on an occasion when the Speaker's intention to permit such questions, statements or explanations has been made known, the chairman shall leave the chair without putting any question, and report that the committee have made progress and ask leave to sit again.
  
  (6) The House, when it meets on Friday, shall, at its rising, stand adjourned until the following Monday without any question being put.
  
  12.—(1) The House shall not sit on ten Fridays in each session to be appointed by the House. House not to sit on certain Fridays.
  
  (2) If a motion to appoint such Fridays is made by a Minister of the Crown the question thereon shall be put forthwith and may be decided at any hour, though opposed.
  
  (3) At its rising on the Thursday before each of the Fridays so appointed the House shall stand adjourned till the following Monday without any question being put, unless it shall have resolved otherwise.
  
  (4) Unless the House shall have resolved to adjourn otherwise than from the previous Thursday to the following Monday, the Fridays so appointed shall be treated as sitting days for the purpose of calculating any period under any order of the House and for the purposes of paragraph (8) of Standing Order No. 22 (Notices of questions, motions and amendments) and of Standing Order No. 64 (Notices of amendments, &c., to bills); and on such Fridays—
  
    (a) notices of questions may be given by Members to the Table Office, and

    (b) notices of amendments to bills, new clauses and new schedules and of amendments to Lords amendments may be received by the Public Bill Office,

  
  between eleven o'clock and three o'clock.
  
  13.(1) Whenever the House stands adjourned and it is represented to the Speaker by Her Majesty's Ministers that the public interest requires that the House should meet at a time earlier than that to which the House stands adjourned, the Speaker, if he is satisfied that the public interest does so require, may give notice that, being so satisfied, he appoints a time for the House to meet, and the House shall accordingly meet at the time stated in such notice. Earlier meeting of House in certain circumstances.
  
  (2) The government business to be transacted on the day on which the House shall so meet shall, subject to the publication of notice thereof in the order paper to be circulated on the day on which the House shall so meet, be such as the government may appoint, but subject as aforesaid the House shall transact its business as if it had been duly adjourned to the day on which it shall so meet, and any government order of the day and government notices of motions that may stand on the order book for any day shall be appointed for the day on which the House shall so meet.
  
  (3) In the event of the Speaker being unable to act owing to illness or other cause, the Chairman of Ways and Means, or either Deputy Chairman, shall act in his stead for the purposes of this order.
  
  



1   Not in effect until the end of the first session of the current Parliament (see Order of 20th November 2000, para (14), p 143 below). Back


 
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Prepared 12 November 2002