If an urgent or important matter arises which an MP believes requires an immediate answer from a government minister, they may apply to ask an urgent question.
MPs may request that the Speaker considers their application for an Urgent Question each day. Applications for urgent questions must be submitted to the Speaker to receive an oral answer on the same day. The deadlines for application to the Speaker's Office are as follows:
- Monday - 11.30am
- Tuesday and Wednesday - 10am
- Thursday - 8.15am
- Friday - 8.30am
If the Speaker is satisfied that the question is urgent and of public importance it is then granted; the Speaker does not have to explain decisions behind granting an Urgent Question or not. Urgent Questions are asked straight after Question Time on Monday to Thursday, or at 11am on a sitting Friday and may be repeated in the House of Lords.
The relevant Government Minister has to come to the Chamber to explain what the Government is doing on the issue raised. The Minister will then usually take questions on the subject from MPs. The Department is also asked to provide a background briefing on the issue for the Speaker and declare any relevant interests.
More detail about how an MP can apply for an Urgent Question in the House of Commons can be found at: MPs' Guide to Procedure - Urgent Questions