» Thursday, October 19, 2006

Prorogation-September sittings of the House

In response to a question, the Leader said that Prorogation – the date of the end of the present parliamentary session – would be approximately a week before the State Opening on November 15, but cautioned that it was not yet fixed. On September sittings of the House, Mr Straw said that there would be a decision before the end of the present session. The House had decided to approve September sittings in 2002, which took effect in 2003 and 2004. It would have continued in 2005 but for the need for essential security work.

This year, the sitting had lapsed. He said he did not feel strongly about the issue, but it was a point of principle that the House should make its own decision about the future of September sittings. The pressure for such sittings had been slightly moderated by his introduction of written questions and ministerial statements in September this year, he added. The decision would be made after a forthcoming debate on House matters.

Mr Straw pointed out that it would be a free vote for the House. Details of the nature of business in the sittings in 2003 and 2004 would be published, along with the estimated additional costs associated with holding the sessions.

To a further question, the Leader replied that he was not yet in a position to announce the dates of next year’s summer recess. It would depend on the vote on September sittings, and there were negotiations – not least with Scottish colleagues – about whether the House should rise earlier in July so that they could be with their children. That was not an unreasonable request.

Briefing took place at 9:00 | Search for related news

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