Prime Minister's Questions: 2 June 2010

03 June 2010

In the first Prime Minister's Questions of the new Parliament, Prime Minister David Cameron answered questions from MPs on subjects including reform of the House of Lords, the Gaza flotilla, prosecuting rape, the Building Schools for the Future programme, university places and support for the armed forces.

Usually the Prime Minister answers questions from MPs in the Commons for half an hour every Wednesday from 12pm. On this instance, because of the Whitsun Recess, Prime Minister's Questions took place at the later time of 3pm.

The session usually starts with a routine question from an MP about the Prime Minister's engagements. This is known as an 'open question' and means that the MP can then ask a supplementary question on any subject, often one of current political significance.

Following the answer, the MP then raises a particular issue, often one of current political significance. The Leader of the Opposition then follows up on this or another topic.

The Leader of the Opposition, currently Harriet Harman, is the only MP allowed to come back with further questions.  

The Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg, will no longer ask questions during Prime Minister's Questions, as part of the arrangements under the coalition government.

However he will, in his capacity as Deputy Prime Minister, take questions once a month on his government role in a separate question time.

He will also stand-in at Prime Minister's Questions, on those instances the Prime Minister is unable to attend.   

Image: Parliamentary copyright

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