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COVID-19 proceedings: Ministerial statements

The government uses oral statements to announce significant policy developments, provide updates, and respond to events.

Often the government does not announce that it is going to make an oral statement until the day itself. However, under the temporary arrangements agreed on 4 June 2020, the government is required to give the same notice as MPs seeking to ask an urgent question.

The deadlines relating to oral statements, including the government giving advance notice are:

Government gives notice of an oral statementSpeaker announces oral statement, of there are anyMP submits request to speak
For Mondays9am on Monday9.30am on Monday11.30am on Monday
For Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays1pm on the previous day1.30pm on the previous day3.30pm on the previous day

Notice to speak

Any MP who wishes to speak in a debate on a ministerial statement must apply online to do so.

The Speaker's Office will run a shuffle to produce a list of MPs from which they will organise a call list. Not all MPs who came out in the shuffle will necessarily appear on the call list.

Participating in a statement

Only MPs who are on the call list will be able to participate in the debate on a ministerial statement. MPs who intend to be physically in the Chamber should be present from the beginning of the statement. MPs participating virtually should join the conference call in good time before the statement is due to begin.

All MPs, whether attending physically or remotely, should wait to be called by the Speaker. Those who are physically in the Chamber should rise in their place to make their contribution when they are called. The broadcasting team will unmute the microphones of MPs who are participating remotely when they are called to speak.

If there are technological problems which prevent an MP from participating, they may be called to speak later in the debate.

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Parliamentary Glossary

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