Page last updated at 16:20 GMT, Thursday, 28 January 2010
Catching the Speaker's Eye

Ana Lockerbie looks into how to get noticed in the Commons

Any MP wishing to take part in a debate in the House of Commons must attract the Speaker's attention - or "catch their eye" - as the Speaker chooses who may speak at any given moment.

MPs rise from their seats and stand for a moment in the gaps between speeches.

Whoever attracts the Speaker's attention first will be called to speak.

This applies during all parliamentary business, from questions and statements to general debates.

Generally more than one MP will rise from their seats and whoever attracts the Speaker's attention first will be given permission to speak.

MPs can increase their chance of catching the Speaker's eye by writing to them in advance of a debate, stating that they wish to speak in it.

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