Page last updated at 13:21 GMT, Thursday, 3 February 2011

MP calls for earlier Commons sitting hours

A Conservative MP has called on the government to bring forward Thursday's sitting hours in the House of Commons to 9am.

At business questions on 3 February 2011, Ben Wallace, MP for Wyre and Preston North, said the change would allow MPs that live further afield than the Home Counties, in the north, Scotland and Shropshire, to get back to their constituency before midnight.

The move would not cost the taxpayer money, he added.

But Labour's Kevin Brennon said that previous attempts to change sitting hours in 2002 proved "pretty disastrous and pretty un-family friendly" for MPs who wanted to take their children in London on the school run.

The Commons currently sits from 2pm-10.30pm on Mondays and Tuesdays, 11.30am-7pm on Wednesday and 10.30am to 6.30pm on Thursday.

There are 13 sitting Fridays a year, which are dedicated to private members' bills and these sessions start at 9.30am.

Replying for the government Commons Leader Sir George Young conceded that sitting hours "are not a simple question".

He said there were "consequences for the House, for committees, if we move the sitting time forward to nine o'clock".

But he told MPs that there would be a Procedure Committee inquiry into sitting hours which would take representations from MPs.

At the end of the inquiry the committee would put options before the House so that MPs could decide if and how they wanted to change the sitting hours, Sir George added.

Story Tools

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific