Owen Paterson, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, answered MPs' questions on subjects including the resources of the Police Service of Northern Ireland and cross-border economic co-operation with the Republic of Ireland
MPs also asked questions on:
- the threat level in Northern Ireland
- the findings of the Independent Monitoring Commission
- resources of the Police Service of Northern Ireland
- effects of recession on Northern Ireland economy
- public expenditure in Northern Ireland
- changes to corporation tax
- the report of the Saville Inquiry
- the death of Pat Finucane
- the Historical Enquiries Team
- cross-border economic co-operation
Question Time in the Commons
Question Time takes place for an hour, Monday to Thursday, after prayers. Each government department answers questions according to a rota called the Order of Oral Questions. The questions asked must relate to the responsibilities of the government department concerned.
Commons oral questions are tabled by MPs at least three days in advance of Question Time. The questions are then printed in the Commons Questions Book. The order in which the questions are asked is determined randomly by a computer.
MPs who are called by the Speaker to ask their question do not read it out, but simply call out its number. When the government minister has replied, the MP can ask another question (known as a supplementary) and other MPs may also be called to ask supplementary questions. The Minister must reply to each in turn. Supplementary questions must be on the same subject as the original question.
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