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Ministerial statements

Ministerial statements are a way for Ministers to bring an important matter to the attention of the House, often at short notice.

Government Ministers may make oral statements to Parliament which usually address major incidents, government policies or actions. These take place after Oral Questions and any granted Urgent Questions. After making a statement the Minister responds to questions on its topic from MPs. An hour is allocated for this.

Commons statements will sometimes be repeated in the Lords at an appropriate time to fit in with the main business. 

Business statement

Every sitting Thursday the Leader of the House of Commons, who is responsible for planning Government business, announces the schedule for the following week. This is known as the business statement. It usually takes place at 10.30am on Thursdays if there are no other urgent questions.

After the business statement MPs may raise issues primarily from their constituencies and ask for parliamentary time to debate them.

Personal statements

Other statements are occasionally made, for example, by an MP who has resigned as a Minister or wishes to correct an error in a statement they have made to the House of Commons. These statements can only be made with permission of the Speaker.

In the House of Lords a Peer can make a short personal statement in order to correct information given in a speech by them or to reply to claims made about them in the House.

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