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PRIME MINISTER'S QUESTIONS REVAMPED

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The President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons, Ann Taylor, today announced changes to the procedu...
The President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons, Ann Taylor, today announced changes to the procedure for prime minister's questions with effect from the start of the new parliament.

The President said:

'As a first step towards fulfilling our manifesto commitment to improve the effectiveness of prime minister's questions, we intend to replace the existing, much criticised, prime minister's questions with one of half an hour each Wednesday, allowing the prime minister to be questioned in greater depth.'

As a further reform, madam speaker has agreed to the government's suggestion that the prime minister should no longer give the 'referring' reply to the second and subsequent questions relating to his engagements for the day. The member who tabled the question will now put his supplementary question as soon as he is called by the speaker.

This will create more time for real questions to the prime minister and give backbenchers additional time. The government is committed to reforming and modernising the house of commons to make a parliament fit for the 21st century. As outlined in the manifesto, it will shortly propose setting up a new special select committee to review parliamentary procedures and consider further changes to question time including prime minister's questions.'
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