Emergency debate on phone hacking

06 July 2011

The House of Commons held an emergency debate on Wednesday 6 July on whether there should be a public inquiry into phone hacking at the News of the World and conduct of the Metropolitan Police Service.

The debate was introduced by Chris Bryant, Labour MP for Rhondda. Attorney-General, Domonic Grieve QC, responded on behalf of the Government. Watch the debate on Parliament TV and read the views expressed by MPs in Commons Hansard.

Standards and Privileges Committee

The Standards and Privileges Committee published a report on 29 March 2011 on the hacking of MPs mobile phones.

Application for emergency debate

Chris Bryant made an application for an emergency debate on Tuesday 5 July and proposed that the House should debate whether there should be a public inquiry into the phone hacking at the News of the World; and the conduct of the Metropolitan Police Service between 2006 and 2011.

The application was put before the House and was agreed.

Standing Order 24

Standing Orders are the rules made by both Houses of Parliament for the regulation of their proceedings. Standing Order 24 allows an MP to make an application for the House of Commons to

"debate a specific and important matter that should have urgent consideration. If the Speaker is satisfied that the matter is proper to be so debated, the Member shall either obtain the leave of the House, or, if such leave be refused, the assent of not fewer than forty Members who shall thereupon rise in their places to support the motion, or, if fewer than forty Members and not fewer than ten shall thereupon rise in their places, the House shall, on a division, upon question put forthwith, determine whether such motion shall be made."

The last successful application for an emergency debate was made by the then Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, on 25 November 2008 on the Pre-Budget Report. The debate was held on 26 November 2008.

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