121. SO No 14 (1) provides that “Save as provided in this order, government business shall
have precedence at every sitting”. The specific savings in SO No 14 are for:
• 20 Opposition days each session, allotted on days determined by the Government: and
• 13 Private Members’ Bill Fridays each session, fixed by the House at the outset of each session on the basis of a Motion moved by a Minister.
122. Time in the Chamber is also set aside by other Standing Orders for:
• oral questions for an hour on Mondays to Thursdays and Urgent Questions
• emergency debates
• end of day 30 minute adjournment backbench debates every sitting day
• three Estimates days each year, for debates under the auspices of the Liaison Committee
government business has precedence and other sittings”.
through the usual channels with the Official Opposition Whips. The Leader of the House then announces future business to the House each week on Thursday as a rolling two-week programme, with the second week avowedly less firmly determined than the first. Business in Westminster Hall is often announced more than two weeks in advance. The announcement of future business is akin to a Ministerial statement but preserves the facade
of being an Urgent Question from the Shadow Leader.