The Backbench Business Committee is responsible for scheduling debates on at least 35 days during the current session, at least 27 of which will be debates in the main Chamber of the House of Commons, with the remainder to be taken in Westminster Hall
At its meeting on 8 November the Committee has no available backbench time to allocate, although it is awaiting notice of possible future days from the Leader of the House. The Committee heard Mr Frank Field's request, as Co-Chair of the Cross Party Group on Balanced Migration and with reference to the No to 70 million e-petition, that a debate on immigration and population should take place on a substantive motion in the Chamber in early 2012. The timing of the debate will be considered at a future meeting of the Committee.
The Committee also heard representations from:
- Guy Opperman MP, Chris White MP and Gordon Birtwistle MP for a debate on the future of manufacturing;
- Jesse Norman MP and Mr Aidan Burley MP on public sector funding of Trade Union officials; and
- John Hemming MP on the Put Babar Ahmed on trial in the UK e-petition
The Committee also received notice from the Leader of the House that the following e-petitions had exceeded 100,000 signatures: Put Babar Ahmed on trial in the UK; No to 70 million; and make financial education a compulsory part of the school curriculum.
The Committee agreed that the Put Babar Ahmed on trial in the UK e-petition should be considered in the debate on extradition which is scheduled for Westminster Hall on Thursday 24 November. Other debates will be allocated as time becomes available.