Procedure Committee

Session 2002-03 8 May 2003


The Committee’s Second Report of Session 2002-03, Delegated Legislation: Proposals for a Sifting Committee: The Government’s Response to the Committee’s First Report, will be published at 11 am on Tuesday 13 May as HC 684. There will be no advance copies and no press conference. The Report will be published on the Internet later the same day, and will also be on sale from The Stationery Office.

The Committee’s First Report (HC 501), published in March, advocated a Joint Committee to sift statutory instruments and make recommendations as to which of them merited debate. The Government has now replied, and the Second Report includes the reply, with the Committee’s own comments on it.


The House of Commons passes six Orders and Resolutions at the beginning of each Session. One instructs the Metropolitan Police Commissioner to keep the streets leading to the House free and open, and states that “no obstruction be permitted to hinder the passage of Members to and from this House”.  The Committee intends to investigate whether this Order needs to be updated, or whether access by Members to the House is better ensured in some other way. Evidence sessions will be announced in due course.

The full text of the Order reads:

That the Commissioner of the Police of the Metropolis do take care that during the Session of Parliament the passages through the streets leading to this House be kept free and open and that no obstruction be permitted to hinder the passage of Members to and from this House, and that no disorder be allowed in Westminster Hall, or in the passages leading to this House, during the Sitting of Parliament, and that there be no annoyance therein or thereabouts; and that the Serjeant at Arms attending this House do communicate this Order to the Commissioner aforesaid.

The other Orders and Resolutions concern elections, witnesses and the Votes and Proceedings.



The following oral evidence session has been arranged:

Date and time: Wednesday 14 May 2.15 pm

Location:Committee Room 17, Palace of Westminster

Witnesses: Rt Hon the Lord Carter, Rt Hon the Lord Cope of Berkeley, and Chloe Mawson, Government Chief Whip’s Office, House of Lords

The meeting will take place in public in the Palace of Westminster (access: St Stephen's Entrance, opposite the back of Westminster Abbey).  As Committee Rooms are liable to change, those attending are advised to check the room location on arrival.  The Committee Office recorded information line (020 7219 2033) provides details of select and standing committee meetings being held within the next two days.

This evidence session aims to find out about the system used in the House of Lords for drawing up a list of speakers.  The Committee’s inquiry includes the topic of publication of lists of speakers in debates in the Commons, and conventions about which Members are called and when, including that of calling Members from alternate sides.

Previous oral evidence in this inquiry has been published as House of Commons Papers HC 333-i to -v and is available on the Internet (go to the Reports and Publications button on this site).