Page last updated at 12:05 GMT, Friday, 31 October 2008
Usual channels

The usual channels is the term used to describe the relationship between the whips' offices of the government and the opposition parties.

So much business takes place in Parliament each year that some degree of co-operation between the parties is necessary if a sensible timetable is to be agreed for the discussion of government bills, opposition days, private members' bills and any other business.

Private negotiations between the chief whips of the main parties through the usual channels take place daily to ensure the smooth running of business through the House.

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