In the first oral questions to the Secretary of State for Wales of the new Parliament, Cheryl Gillan answered MPs' questions on subjects including policing and devolution.
MPs asked questions on:
- the proposed reduction of parliamentary constituencies
- the electoral register
- economic impact of S4C
- the Airbus A400M
- policing in Wales
- winter fuel payments
- support for Welsh businesses
- impact of proposed pubic expenditure reductions
- proposed referendum on powers of the National Assembly for Wales
- assistance for the rural economy
- prison capacity
- the forthcoming Ryder Cup
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.
Image: Parliamentary copyright