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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 October 2007, 23:41 GMT 00:41 UK
MPs get four more days of holiday
Houses of Parliament
The Queen's Speech will be held this year on 6 November
MPs will have an additional four days of holiday in 2008 compared with this year, it has been announced.

They will take 91 days - or 18 working weeks - off, Harriet Harman, the leader of the Commons, has confirmed.

The extra time away from Westminster is a result of Easter falling early next year, on 23 March.

This means the Commons will close for the four days of the bank holiday weekend, in addition to the traditional Easter fortnight.

Ms Harman also announced that Parliament will "prorogue" on 30 October for a short break ahead of this year's Queen's Speech, on 6 November.

Then MPs will finish for Christmas this year on 18 December, returning on 7 January.

The half-term break will run from 7 to 18 February, and MPs then finish for Easter on 3 April.

They are back on 21 April, taking their Whitsun holiday from 22 May.

And once they return on 2 June, they will sit until the summer break begins on 22 July, ending on 6 October 2008.

Variations in the number of Fridays when the Commons is open for business mean it is likely that MPs will sit for a greater number of days in 2007-8 than in the previous 12-month period.

MPs often respond to criticism of their lengthy spells away from Westminster by saying that they devote much of these periods to constituency work.

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