Supplementary written evidence submitted by Mrs Maria Miller MP (CVR 117)

Consideration needs to be given to having some process for flexibility in the call list system if it is retained. At the moment any member who, for any reason, is unable to be present in the chamber to take their allotted slot on the fixed call list has no process to request to speak at a different time. Previously Members who had other duties in The House routinely asked The Speaker or Deputy Speaker in the Chair if an alternative speaking time was possible and it was agreed informally. Under the call list system Members who are not able to be present when their name is called are treated as having failed to speak, “not here” or “withdrawn”: no accommodation is possible.

Given the continued unpredictable timing of Statements and UQs actual speaking time in debates is still not possible to estimate until the start of the debate itself.

Members of Delegated Legislation Committees, Bill Committees, Select Committees and members of the Speakers Panel have other duties in the House which they are obliged to fulfil in line with the rules of The House. This necessitates a degree of flexibility in the Speaking List system or alternatively a fixed time for debates to start in order that Members can successfully fulfil all of their official duties & commitments in the House and represent their constituents in debates.