Last night in the Commons the new government brought forward proposals to create a better and stronger Parliament.
There will be a September sitting, so the government does not go from July to October without Parliament to ask awkward questions. The Commons will have a backbench Business Committee with time to allocate as we see fit, which amounts to the equivalent of around one sitting day a week. In due course there will be a House Business committee, to co-ordinate backbench time and debates chosen by backbenchers with government time and debates.
The last Parliament did not meet often enough, and too much of its agenda was chosen for it by the government and supported by use of the Labour majority. This Parliament will meet more and have more freedom to debate the things that matter most to the country and the issues that the government may find inconvenient to discuss. The last government introduced “topical” debates on a Thursday which were often just the spin theme of the week for the PM. These debates often proved unpopular even with the majority that sustained them, and increased the House’s frustration at the inability to choose subjects that the vocal and often substantial minority wanted to debate.