Page last updated at 16:15 GMT, Monday, 28 September 2009 17:15 UK
First minister's questions

First minister's questions is an opportunity for elected representatives in the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Assembly, and the Northern Ireland Assembly to ask their respective first ministers about any policy area.

In Scotland, first minister's questions normally takes place between 12pm and 12.30pm on Thursdays when the Parliament is sitting.

In Wales, first minister's questions takes place from 1.30pm to 2.15pm on Tuesdays.

In Northern Ireland, questions are posed to the office of the first minister and deputy first minister - although in practice, the minister responding alternates between the first minister and the deputy. It takes place every other Monday during term time, between 2.30pm and 3pm.

The procedure followed is similar to prime minister's questions: a member puts a question to the first minister, and is allowed to ask one supplementary question after the response.

But, unlike Westminster where the prime minister does not usually have notice of any of the questions to be asked, first ministers are given advance warning of the topics to be probed since the first question on each topic needs to be tabled in advance (although the supplementaries do not).




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