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Statements

Where to find guidance on taking part in proceedings during the current pandemic

On 2 and 4 June 2020, the House agreed motions to make changes to the way Members vote in the Chamber and to enable certain Members to take part virtually in proceedings on Questions, Urgent Questions and Statements (“scrutiny proceedings”) during the pandemic. These temporary arrangements came into force on 8 June and are due to remain in force until 3 November. Guidance on these temporary (Virtual participation in proceedings during the pandemic) arrangements can be found in the following places:

The section of this Guide on proxy voting has been updated to reflect changes to the way voting works in the House of Commons, including changes resulting from the current pandemic. Otherwise, all the guidance on this site relates to normal proceedings in the House of Commons.

Statements

The Government use oral or written statements to announce policy developments, provide updates, and respond to events.

Oral statements tend to be on significant policy changes and written statements tend to be on relatively routine matters.

You have an opportunity to question the minister after an oral statement. You must be present in the Chamber from the start of the statement. Once it’s finished, you stand in your place every time the minister sits down to show that you want to be called to ask a question.

Other statements include:

  • Select committee statements: The Chair of a select committee, or another committee member, can make a statement announcing the publication of a report or launch of an inquiry. You can ask questions about the statement.
  • Speaker’s statements: The Speaker can make a statement on any subject, including practical matters relating to House business or ceremonial occasions. There’s no opportunity to ask questions.
  • Personal statements: MPs can ask the Speaker to allow them to make a personal statement. These are usually related to conduct. There’s no opportunity to ask questions.

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