A175 - Ministerial Questions Amendment

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adam9317
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Ministerial Questions Amendment
Proposed by: Saracen's Fez MP (Lab)
Seconded by: CoffeeAndPolitics MP (Lab), cranbrook_aspie MP (Soc), mobbsy91 MP (Con), TheDefiniteArticle MP (Lab)

This House would adjust the Guidance Document as follows:

Remove the following from the section entitled 'Prime Minister's Questions':

1) Prime Minister’s Questions will take place once a month and having consulted the Leader of the Opposition, the Prime Minister may choose the day of the week that PMQs takes place on. The Prime Minister should endeavour to be online as much as possible in the 24 hours after the update on that day. The Prime Minister is entitled to call additional PMQs if they desire.

6) If the Prime Minister is unavailable, the Deputy Prime Minister should stand in. If they are also unavailable the Chancellor should, if there is one. If none of these three are available Prime Minister's Questions does not happen.

and replace with:

1) Prime Minister's Questions can take place on any day by mutual agreement of the Prime Minister and Speaker, having consulted the Leader of the Opposition. The Prime Minister should endeavour to be online as much as possible in the 24 hours after the update on that day.

6) The Prime Minister may additionally nominate other government ministers to take Ministerial Questions, subject to the agreement of the Speaker.

Also remove the following from the section entitled 'Statements of Intent, Departmental Reviews and Ministers' Questions':

9) Key Cabinet members, which includes the Chancellor, the Home Secretary, the Foreign Secretary, the Health Secretary, the Education Secretary and the Defence Secretary, are obliged to hold at least one of their own question times during the term. They may hold more than one question time if they wish. Other Cabinet members may hold their own question times too. At the beginning of each term, the Prime Minister will publish a provisional timetable of when question times will be held.

and amend the section title to 'Statements of Intent and Departmental Reviews'.


Rationale
PMQs, and in particular ministerial questions, are not particularly effective means of scrutiny or of learning of government policy. Furthermore anyone is able to ask a question of the PM or government at any time via the Ask the Government thread.

Whilst it does add to the House to have the structured question sessions from time to time, these should not be mandated at regular intervals, nor should other ministers be required to take questions, a practice that has traditionally been frowned upon.

Governments of many colours have also been guilty of holding minsterial questions concurrently with SoIs from the same minister, which detracts from the discussion on the SoI itself.
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Jammy Duel
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Can we have a link to the original amendment, what was the vote margin?
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LifeIsFine
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Aye.
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CoffeeAndPolitics
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Aye - As for the reasons explained in the rationale.
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Quamquam123
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#5
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I am strongly opposed to this amendment which aims to limit the amount of PMQs and question times in the House. If anything, I think we should be thinking of ways to have more of them.
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username1524603
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I would support removing all references to question times from the Guidance Document because the MHoC does not need everything codified, however, this proposal is better than the Guidance Document clauses in the current version of the Guidance Document.
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Aph
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#7
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Absolutely, PMQ's ect. are pointless.
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Connor27
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#8
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I support less bureaucracy and the removal of an arbitrary monthly session of PMQs, also obliging key ministers to hold a Question session in the term is a flawed idea, particularly if there is little to debate in their portfolio.

Aye.
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cranbrook_aspie
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#9
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Aye. I'll repeat what I said in the government subforum: PMQs should be held because there are questions to be asked and answered in a formal setting, not because the government has decided to put it in at a random time in order to satisfy its GD obligations.
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Saracen's Fez
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Aye – see the rationale I wrote for the reasons why.
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RayApparently
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#11
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Aye, and to alleviate concerns about PMQs becoming too infrequent if this passes I'll be happy to make them twice as regular upon passage of the amendment.
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username1751857
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Aye.
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Connor27
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(Original post by RayApparently)
Aye, and to alleviate concerns about PMQs becoming too infrequent if this passes I'll be happy to make them twice as regular upon passage of the amendment.
That's fine, but if a new prime minister comes into office in May, and decides that they don't want to do PMQs at all, then what then?
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RayApparently
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(Original post by Connor27)
That's fine, but if a new prime minister comes into office in May, and decides that they don't want to do PMQs at all, then what then?
Then they will be denounced as a coward, and that's how it should be.
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Jammy Duel
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(Original post by RayApparently)
Then they will be denounced as a coward, and that's how it should be.
Should we lock the government Q&A thread? The party and government and opposition Q&A threads make the likes of PMQs little more than in irrelevance done for the sake of doing it.
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RayApparently
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(Original post by Jammy Duel)
Should we lock the government Q&A thread? The party and government and opposition Q&A threads make the likes of PMQs little more than in irrelevance done for the sake of doing it.
My answer was to Connor's specific point. That whether or not there is PMQs should be up to the PM and that if the House has a problem with it then the responsibility will fall on that specific PM.
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username2718212
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#17
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Aye.
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Basiil17
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#18
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Don't see a reason for anything but Aye.
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Kyx
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#19
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#19
Aye. No horse business please (Nays)
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username2585877
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#20
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#20
aye
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