The MHoC Guidance Document (also known as the Guiding Document) is a document containing suggestions of how the Model House of Commons should operate. Unlike the MHoC Constitution, the Guidance Document is not binding on the Speaker, except parts which are specifically referred to in the MHoC Constitution. The content of the MHoC Guiance Document can be altered through an amendment.
Accurate as of November 2017
1) The Speaker is responsible for everything surrounding the HoC elections,
2) Manifestos are to be submitted to the speaker by the deadline, any received after this time will be accepted at the Speaker's discretion
3) In a general election a maximum of 16 parties and independents can stand, parties and independents from a previous election will get priority over anyone else. The Speaker again has the discretion to remove people from standing in the general election.
4) Manifestos submitted must be less than 600 words.
- i) Manifestos may not contain more than two image files.
- ii) Manifestos may contain one audio or video file:
- a)lasting less than 90 seconds
- b)containing less than 200 words (not included in the manifesto word count)
- c)not infringing on copyright law
- iii) Manifestos may not contain pictures of, or quotes attributed to, any real-life figure, living or dead, political or otherwise.
- iv) Where a manifesto is received with more than 600 words, the Speaker will cut the manifesto at the 600-word mark.
5) The Prime Minister holds the authority to announce his/her intention to seek a dissolution on a particular date; as long as parliament does not expire in between.
6) The formal duration of an election will be 21 Days.
- Day 0 – Election is called by the Prime Minister or the Speaker if parliament has expired. A wash-up period of seven days will take place and the Speaker will not accept any new items.
Day 0 – The Speaker will inform parties to submit their manifestos.
Day 7 – All manifestos should have been received by the Speaker who shall admit them subject to them meeting the criteria to stand. The Speaker will formally declare the previous parliament dissolved and shall remove all MPs from the Division Lobby forum.
Day 7 – The Speaker will post a thread containing all manifestos in the Model House Of Commons subforum and add a secret poll for 7 days with an option for each candidate/party and an option for 'Spoilt Ballot'.
Day 14 – Results of the election are declared by the speaker, the Speaker will then inform party leaders they have 7 days to form any coalitions.
Day 21 – Details of formed coalitions are formally announced by the Speaker who invites the leader of the largest coalition/party that fulfills article 6.1 to form a Government and nominate a Prime Minister for appointment. The Speaker invites the leader of the largest party that does not take part in the Government and that fulfills article 7.1 to form a Shadow Ministry.
Day 21 - The Speaker formally declares parliament open and announces details of parliament's expiration date.
7) During elections unsolicited PMs cannot be sent to members of TSR who are not a member of the same party as the sender, this includes campaigning for votes and telling people to go and vote. However, the Speaker may request the Community Team to send out a mass PM on behalf of the Speaker, encouraging people to vote in the General Election.
8) Independent candidates are allowed to join a party at any point during parliament, in doing so they take their seat with them and bolster the party’s seats. This however will not affect the party in power.
9) If for any reason extra seats are required due to the d’Hondt method of calculations then it is permitted.
10) All TSR members with more than 100 posts and 3 months experience may vote.
11) At the opening of each Parliament, the Speaker and Deputy Speaker shall each undergo a vote of confidence by MPs.
- i) The motion for each poll shall read 'I move that Speaker/Deputy Speaker's name do take the Chair of this House as Speaker/Deputy speaker.'
- ii) The options shall be: aye, no, abstain.
- iii) The motion will be passed if more MPs vote Aye than No
- iv) If the motion fails a Speakership, or Deputy Speakership election will start.
- v) Both confirmation motions shall take place at the same time.
1) The Speaker is responsible for everything surrounding TSR by-elections.
2) Manifestos are to be submitted to the Speaker by the deadline, any received after this time will be accepted at the Speaker’s discretion.
3) The restrictions on manifesto length and content shall be the same as in normal TSR General Elections.
4) Should there be fewer than 5 seats to be assigned, the resulting by-election may only be contested by independents or individuals running under a party banner.
5) Should there be 5 or more seats to be assigned, the criteria for normal TSR General Elections applies.
6) MPs are not eligible to stand.
7) An individual running under a party banner may win a maximum of 1 seat.
8) Should the condition in 4) be true:
- i) Each party may only have 1 candidate running running under their banner
- ii) If an equal number or fewer candidates stand than seats to be assigned, the by-election shall be cancelled.
- iii) The poll shall be a multiple choice vote, unless there is only 1 seat to be assigned.
9) Individuals who run under party banners will be identified as such and any seat won by them is held by the party.
10) Any person wishing to stand as an independent must resign from their former party.
11) All TSR members with more than 100 posts and 3 months experience may vote.
12) Should the condition in 4) be true, the candidates with the highest number of votes will be assigned a seat until they are all filled. Otherwise, the d'Hondt method shall be used to calculate seats. If an extra seat is required, it is permitted.
13) The results shall not affect who is in Government or Opposition.
14) The duration of an election shall be 11 days.
- Day 0 – Election is announced by The Speaker.
Day 0 - The Speaker will inform interested candidates/parties to submit their manifestos
Day 7 – All manifestos should have been received by The Speaker.
Day 7 - The Speaker will post the manifestos in a thread in the Model House of Commons forum, add a secret 4 day poll with the option of “Spoilt Ballot”.
Day 11 – The election closes and seats are assigned.
Speaker and Deputy Speaker Elections
1) The election process for a Speaker and Deputy Speaker should last no more than 28 days.
Day 0 – The Speaker announces the election and asks for manifestos to be submitted to them.
Day 3 – The Speaker will create a question and answer thread, and will post the candidates who wish to run in the election for speaker along with their manifestos. Day 5 – The Speaker will open a secret poll (for MPs only in the Division Lobby) with the candidates’ names and the option for Re-Open Nominations.
Day 10 – Poll closes. If a candidate has gained more than 50% of the vote, they are elected. If not, the two candidates with the most votes, plus ties, are put into a second three day ballot with no R.O.N. option. If at any point during the runoff vote a candidate withdraws the runoff is rerun between the remaining candidate and the next highest placed candidate on the first round ballot excluding the candidate who has withdrawn. The runoff may be rerun a maximum of three times. In the event there is no next placed candidate from the first round the remaining candidate undergoes a Speakership Confirmation motion procedure lasting three days. If three runoffs all result in withdrawals the candidate left undergoes a Speakership Confirmation motion.
Day 13/16/19 - If a runoff election was needed, results of the election are announced and the candidate with the most votes is elected.
Day 22 - If a Speakership Confirmation Motion was called, the results are announced.
2) The candidate with the highest number of votes will be elected.
3) In the event there is a draw, all candidates will be outlined to the administration team and they will pick the next Speaker or Deputy Speaker.
4) In the event no member is elected due to Re-Open Nominations being elected, a new election process will begin.
5) Manifestos must be no longer than 250 words.
Party Leadership Elections
1) Parties can run leadership elections themselves or request the Speaker to run them.
2) Outgoing Leaders and Deputy Leaders may wish to run these how they like.
The party or Speaker shall run any other elections as they see fit; this is entirely at their discretion.
1) A party may appoint as many users to the MP usergroup as they had won seats in the previous general election; it is the prerogative of each party to choose the users they want as representatives.
2) MPs may be instructed by their Chief Whip to vote in a specific way and they should oblige but do not have to vote as they have free will.
3) MPs can have titles, they can be cabinet positions in the Government or Shadow Cabinet positions if they are in the opposition. All other MPs will have no title unless they are a Party Leader /Deputy Leader/Chief Whip.
4) As an MP you would be expected to attend all bill discussions and voting on bills.
5) Any MP or party leader can have a motion of no confidence called against them at any given point in time by a party members (assuming the VoNC has been seconded) at which point the Speaker will offer assistance.
6) If an MP decides to leave a party then their seat is available to be filled by another member of the party.
7) If a independent MP wishes to join a political party any time after a general election they can do so and take their MP seat with them and will automatically bolster a party’s number of seats, though it won’t change who the ‘government is’.
8) An independent MP can leave a political party they have joined and take their seat with them.
9) Any MP holding a seat defecting parties cannot take their seat with them, the seat at all times remains within the party it was assigned.
10) Proxy MPs (stand-in MP) are permitted is an MP is aware they will be away for a period of time. A proxy MP can take their place assuming the Speaker is notified with 4 days notice so that the current MP can be removed from the group and the proxy put into place. A proxy MP is instructed how to vote by the full time MP and should obey their wishes.
11) All MPs and proxies are entitled to join the MP group.
12) All MPs are entitled The Honourable.
13) All MPs, including proxies, must have a dupe check carried out, either by the Speaker or the relevant Party Leader. If the Party Leader has already carried out a dupe check prior to the member becoming an MP, no further checks are necessary.
14) If the MP or proxy has had no prior check, the check should be requested immediately when they are announced as MP or proxying, and the MP or proxy can fulfil their duties whilst awaiting the check to be completed. If the check comes back with a match to any other member of the MHoC, then normal appropriate action will be taken.
15) Any Party Leader can ask the Speaker to investigate whether an MP has had a dupe check carried out.
16) The Speaker should make a spreadsheet showing which members have been dupe checked, and the date of completion, viewable to the MHoC.
MP Activity & Voting Reviews
1) Four weeks after the State Opening of Parliament, the Speaker will publish a voting review outlining the turnout of each MP to all Division Lobby votes so far that term excluding amendments.
2) Vacant seats and seats with an attendance strictly less than 70% will be highlighted as under consideration for removal.
3) Four weeks after the previous voting review, another voting review will be published.
- i) Seats with an attendance strictly less than 70% in the votes since the previous review will be highlighted as under consideration for removal.
- ii) A highlighted seat which was also highlighted in any previous voting review during the same term will be put up for by-election; normal by-election procedures apply.
- iii) Parties whose seat(s) were put up for by-election as the result of a voting review are prohibited from participating in the resultant by-election.
4) A new voting review is published every four weeks after and these procedures are repeated until the end of term.
5) In exceptional circumstances, the Speaker may choose not to conduct a voting review or to not carry out a by-election, and should inform the House of such intention.
6) Seats with an attendance strictly less than 50% in the votes since the previous review will be put up for by-election; normal by-election procedures apply.
MP Seat Allocation
1) The Speaker shall allocate each MP a seat number.
2) Party leaders have until the first Division Lobby results are announced at the start of a new term to change the seat number allocated to their MPs.
3) The Speaker shall conduct voting reviews in accordance with the section above.
4) No user may transfer from being the permanent MP for one seat number to being the permanent MP for another seat number in a single day (= time between two daily updates).
5) No seat may undergo more than one change of permanent occupant in a single day (= time between two daily updates).
1) If wanting to form a party, someone should put a thread in the Model House of Commons forum spelling out their main principles.
2) Interested people should PM the Speaker and proposer.
3) In deciding whether to allow a party to form, the Speaker should be primarily mindful of the support for the party. Precedent sets the hurdle as 10 eligible voters showing support, though the Speaker may want to consider other factors, such as whether those voters are active House of Commons members.
1) The Speaker shall ask the party or coalition that fulfils the criteria in article 6.1 of the MHoC Constitution to form the Government.
2) One of the party leaders, as agreed by all coalition parties, becomes Prime Minister.
3) The Government shall consist of a Prime Minister, ministers with responsibility for the Treasury, Home Office and Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and any number of further Cabinet or ministerial positions.
4) If the Prime Minister initially elected following a general election resigns or is removed, and there is any contention within the Government as to the appointment of a permanent replacement, the Speaker shall hold a poll of Government MPs to resolve this. If the Government has not submitted in advance a system by which a temporary replacement will be appointed, the Speaker will make a decision in case of contention as to who an Acting Prime Minister will be.
5) Responsibility for the appointment of all other ministerial positions ultimately resides with the Prime Minister, though the Speaker or moderation team may prohibit a member from holding ministerial office.
1) The Speaker shall ask the Party Leader of the party that fulfils the criteria in article 7.1 of the MHoC Constitution to form an Opposition.
2) The Opposition shall consist of a Leader of the Opposition and any number of Shadow Cabinet or shadow ministerial positions.
1) If a Party withdraws from Government Coalition leaving the Government without an absolute majority, the Government disbands.
2) Following the dissolution of a Government Coalition the Speaker shall post a Notice informing the House of such a dissolution, and
3) Parties shall have 7 days to form alternative coalitions, except
4) That barring an intervening General Election, the dissolved coalition government is ineligible to form the next Government,
5) After the 7 day period has passed, the Speaker shall ask the Party Leader(s) of the Party or Coalition that satisfy article 6.1 of the MHoC Constitution to form a Government, and
6) They shall ask the Party Leader(s) of the Party or Coalition that satisfy article 7.1 of the MHoC Constitution to form the Official Opposition.
7) A General Election shall be called, using the applicable procedures, if
- i) A Government that satisfies article 6.1 of the MHoC Constitution cannot be formed, or
- ii) This is the second Government collapse of the parliamentary term.
1) The Privy Council is made up of all past and present Cabinet ministers, Leaders of the Opposition, Speakers and Deputy Speakers.
2) Privy Counsellors are entitled The Right Honourable.
1) Acts of Parliament or EU laws passed in real life will apply to the Model House of Commons, so long as they do not contradict bills passed in this House. Legislation passed here always takes precedence over legislation passed in real life. This House may act as the Scottish Parliament, National Assembly for Wales, Northern Ireland Assembly or any English devolved regional assembly in passing legislation on devolved issues relating to those constituent parts of the country. Powers may of course be transferred between the House of Commons and devolved institutions by means of appropriate legislation.
2) Party Leaders or members (submitting private members bills) will send the bill to the Speaker.
3) The Speaker will acknowledge they have received the bill and post the bill title and post the date the bill will go up for discussion in the Hansard.
4) The Speaker will then post the bill in the Model House of Commons forum on the day a bill is to go up for discussion (as stated in the Hansard).
5) The Speaker will then PM all members to inform them that a new bill is up for discussion.
6) The speaker will be responsible for posting the final bill in the Division Lobby and sending a PM round to the MPs to inform them of a vote.
1) In the House of Commons a maximum of one government bill, one non-government bill, one motion, one treaty and one amendment per day is permitted, excluding ‘joke’ bills.
2) Once an item has been submitted it will be listed in the Hansard and marked with the date the bill will go up for discussion.
3) Each item will be assigned a number, this number will continue throughout the bill from reading to voting, a bill under discussion will be denoted a Bxx, a bill at voting will be Vxx, a motion will be Mxx, a treaty as Txx and an amendment will be Axx.
4) Each item can undergo a maximum of 3 readings:
- i) First Reading – Two days minimum, Six days maximum (with an additional 48 hour extension if requested)
- ii) Second Reading – One day minimum, Four days maximum (with an additional 24 hour extension if requested)
- iii) Third reading – One day minimum, Three days maximum
5) After a reading, the item is put into cessation for up to 7 days unless the proposer has asked for it to go to a new reading or to division.
6) At any point during an item's discussion the submitter can ask for a 7 day cessation period.
7) An item can be withdrawn at any point.
1) State first whether the bill is a Private Members Bill, or whether it is a Bill being proposed by the Party (if the latter is the case then it must be submitted by a member or members who have been delegated by their party).
2) Each bill should contain the following:
Just to give the general jist of the bill, and make it easy to pay reference to, reduce to full title (below) to something less wordy. Make it short and simple.
Education Reform Bill 2006
Title of the bill
Brief (but full) description of the bill, preferably in one sentence. Expand slightly on the short title, and make sure the Title gets across briefly the nature of the bill.
A bill that makes the studying of History, compulsory in all state schools up to and including Key Stage Four.
All bills should start with the enacting words as follows:
"BE IT ENACTED by The Queen's [King's] most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Commons in this present Parliament assembled, in accordance with the provisions of the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-"
Do this however you like, there is no word limit, and you may bullet-list, paragraph, do whatever you like. Just make it simple and in plain English. No multi-coloured text, different sizes or fonts will be carried over, though.
The bill should also be in a “field” in this field must be included the bill name and party/private member submitting the bill, the way you put your bill in a field is as follows:
[field=Bill name (party/private member name)] Bill content goes here [/field]
Bill Summary Paragraph
All bills should provide an explanatory paragraph that outlines the aim of the legislation and a basic rationale for why it is necessary. Optionally, further points that could be used to justify the legislation can be entered here. To keep the bill tidy, the notes section should be wrapped with a spoiler tag as follows:
[SPOILER]Summary Paragraph and additional notes goes here[/SPOILER][/QUOTE]
1) Motions are used to debate a statement, as opposed to bills which are detailed and change law.
2) Party Leaders or members (submitting private members bills) will send the statement to the Speaker.
3) The Speaker will acknowledge they have received the motion and post the motion title and the date the motion will go up for discussion in the Hansard.
4) The speaker will then post the motion in the Model House of Commons forum on the day a motion is to go up for discussion (as stated in the Hansard).
5) The speaker will then PM all MPs to inform them that a new motion is up for discussion.
6) The Speaker will be responsible for posting the final motion in the Division lobby and sending a PM round to the MPs to inform them of a vote.
1) Registered members of The Student Room (barring MPs and The Speaker) may post a petition in the Model House of Commons forum. Alternatively registered members of The Student Room (barring MPs and The Speaker) may send the petition directly to the speaker in order to submit it anonymously.
2) A petition must call upon either the TSR Government or the House as a whole to do something which can be implemented through legislation.
3) Petitions do not require seconders and may be debated by any member of The Student Room except The Speaker.
4) The Speaker may remove petitions which do not meet the criteria in 1.2 or are duplicates of petitions already posted.
5) The Speaker will format petitions appropriately if required.
6) The Speaker will send a message to MPs to inform them of a new petition.
7) The Speaker will put petitions to vote in the Division Lobby after 4 days' discussion unless legislation (whether a Bill or Statement of Intent) which would validly enact the content of the petition has been proposed since the petition came before the House.
8) Petitions pass if more MPs vote Aye than No.
- 9.1) If a petition which calls upon the TSR Government do something is passed, the Prime Minister or responsible Minister will make a statement to the House within 7 days of its passing to outline their intentions on fulfilling the petition through legislation.
- 9.2) A further statement will be required if a bill fulfilling the petition is not brought before the House within 3 weeks of the first statement (not including when the House isn’t sitting).
- 9.3) If a petition which calls upon the House to do something is passed, The Speaker will appeal to the House for a coalition, party or MP to fulfil the petition.
10) The Speaker will create and maintain a list of petitions submitted to the House.
11) If by the judgement of the Speaker, the petitions system becomes unmanageable, he may impose restrictions as he sees fit in order to allow petitions to proceed in an orderly way.
1) Referendums should relate to real life constitutional matters.
2) Referendums will have to be approved by the Speaker and Community Team before taking place.
3) A thread will be posted in Current Affairs along with a poll posing the question to the members of TSR.
4) All TSR members with more than 100 posts and 3 months experience may vote.
5) Referendums will pass if more votes are cast in favour than against (excluding abstentions), but a bill may stipulate a higher percentage.
6) Voting for a referendum will last 4 days.
7) No more than 1 referendum may be called in a single term of parliament.
- i) The Speaker may reject a referendum on the grounds that it is significantly similar to a previous referendum that has been held within the last three parliamentary terms (including the current term).
8) The Model House of Commons may not overturn a decision made in a referendum that has taken place within the last three parliamentary terms (including the current term), with the exception that TSR shall remain a member of the EU only if and insofar as the UK in real life does.
9) The Speaker will be the returning officer during a referendum.
10) Referendum Petitions –
- i) can be submitted by a party, an MP or a non-MP when seconded by an MP.
- ii) shall be in the following format: "We the undersigned call for a referendum on..... with the question......"
- iii) will follow the procedure of normal petitions.
1) Amendments are to change the Guiding Document and the MHoC Constitution.
2) To change the MHoC Constitution you will need to highlight what you want to be changed using its numerical system.
3) Additions can be made by continuing the number pattern, and removals can be made and the numbers listed will change.
4) Any major changes being made must contain exact details to ensure there is no confusion.
5) Please make it clear what needs to be changed by saying “remove x” and “replace with y”.
6) The same time scale procedures as bills apply
7) Any amendments proposed will have a number associated with them and will be Axx throughout the entire process.
8) The Speaker will reject an amendment if it has a practical effect which is substantially the same as a previous amendment submitted in the term which has been voted on.
1) Each bill going to vote will have the question “Should this bill be passed into law?”
2) Each amendment going to vote should have the question “Should this amendment be passed into the MHoC Constitution (and/or) Guidance Document?
3) Each motion going to vote will have the question “Do you agree with this motion?”
4) Each petition going to vote will have the question “Do you support this petition?"
5) Each treaty going to vote will have the question: "Should this treaty be ratified by this House?"
6) Each statement of intent going to vote will have the question “Should this statement of intent be approved?”
7) Voting on bills, amendments, motions and petitions should have the following 3 options:
- i) As many as are of that opinion, Aye
- ii) On the contrary, No
- iii) Abstain
8) Voting should always last for 4 days.
9)Voting on bills, motion, treaties, petitions and statements of intent should be made public.
10) Voting on Amendments should remain secret.
Motions of No Confidence
Motions of No Confidence against the Government
1) A Motion of no confidence can be called against the Government at any point during a term of governance unless the government was formed less than two weeks prior to the motion, or less than two weeks have passed since the last motion of no confidence was called against the government. The person calling the vote must be an MP of any party.
2) The Speaker must be notified by one person and get at least 4 other MPs to second the motion, at least one of whom must be from another party unless only a single party is not part of the government.
3) This will automatically start a 3 day discussion where both sides get to argue their points; the Speaker will start a thread and post the reasons for the motion of no confidence being called.
4) After the 3 day discussion a 4 day poll will be opened in the Division Lobby so that all MPs can have a vote. The poll will be a private poll only showing the results when it has ended.
5) If the result of the poll is in favour of the motion of no confidence then a period of 7 days shall be allowed for other parties to form a new government (using all the usual regulations for it).
6) If the result of the poll does not favour the motion of no confidence then usual business will resume in the House of Commons.
Motions of No Confidence against a Party Leader
1) A Motion of Confidence can be called against a Party Leader at any point, this can be done by any member of the party).
2) Parties can run Motions of No Confidence themselves or request the Speaker to run them.
3) Motions of No Confidence require someone to second them. This can be any member of the party.
4) Where parties do not already have a procedure in place, Motions of No Confidence will proceed as follows: the returning officer will create a thread with the reasons for the motion of no confidence and add a poll; this poll will be open for 4 days and will decide the future of the Party Leader. The poll will be a secret poll that will only display the results when it ends.
5) If the vote goes in favour of the motion of no confidence, the Party Leader will be removed from power and the Deputy Leader will assume the position of Acting Leader. The returning officer will then run a party leadership election.
Motion of no Confidence against the Speaker / Deputy Speaker
1) A Motion of No Confidence can be called against the Speaker or Deputy Speaker(s) at any point during their speakership unless they have held the position for less than two weeks, or less than two weeks have passed since the last motion of no confidence was submitted against the Speaker/Deputy Speaker(s). The person submitting the motion must be an MP of any party.
2)The Speaker must be notified by one person and get at least 4 other MPs to second the motion, at least one of whom must be from another party.
3) The person proposing the Motion of No Confidence must then post a thread in the House of Commons stating the reasons why they are calling a Motion of No Confidence in the Speaker.
4) The speaker will send a PM to all MPs to inform them of the Motion of No Confidence.
5) There will be a period of 3 - 4 days where the members of the House of Commons can ask questions to both the speaker and person calling the Motion of No Confidence.
6) If the speaker does not want to deal with the Motion of No Confidence they can appoint a Moderator to deal with the Motion of No Confidence. If they do want to deal with the Motion of No Confidence then they are allowed to set up the poll and oversee everything.
7) After the debating has finished the Speaker/appointed moderator will set up a poll lasting 4 days in the Division Lobby where the MPs will get a vote on the future of the Speaker.
8) The Poll will be a private poll so the results are not revealed until the poll ends.
9) If the results are in the favour of the Motion of No Confidence, the Speaker will automatically start a Speaker election which either they can run, or the appointed moderator will oversee. Once the new Speaker is found the old Speaker will be removed from power.
10) If the results are not in favour of the Motion of No Confidence then the Speaker will return to their duties but would be expected to make a formal apology to the house.
1) All polls created in the MHoC, unless created by a Moderator or Community Team member, will need to be authorised by the Speaker or Deputy Speaker beforehand.
2) Any polls created without authorisation may be locked or deleted.
3) A poll may be created without the Speaker’s permission if it has cross-party support from every party leader, or at least 2 MP’s from every party, supporting it.
4) There may be a maximum of 3 non-MHoC related polls created per term.
1) "MHoC-related" applies to polls which affect the running of the MHoC.
2) This does not extend to separate party subforums.
Prime Minister's Questions
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.
2) The Speaker will create a Prime Minister’s Questions thread in which people may ask the Prime Minister questions. These should, at least roughly, relate to government actions, policies, aims or ideals. The Prime Minister should endeavour to be online as much as possible in the 48 hours after the update on that day.
3) Members are free to debate with one another in the thread but they have a limit as to how many questions they can ask the Prime Minister.
- i) Ordinary users may ask two questions with two follow-ups.
- ii) MPs may ask four questions, with a follow-up question for each.
- iii) The Leader of the Opposition may ask six questions, with a follow-up question for each.
4) The Speaker will close the thread 48 hours after opening it, unless the Prime Minister requests them to keep it open a little longer.
5) The Prime Minister may additionally nominate other government ministers to take Ministerial Questions, subject to the agreement of the Speaker.
Statements of Intent and Departmental Reviews
1) Statements of intent (SoIs) are submitted by the Government to set out its plans and policies. These differ from the general term “statements”, which refers to any statement made by any individual or organisation to the House.
2) Any Minister may submit an SoI proposing action by their Department. This action may or may not require primary legislation in order to be realised.
3) Each SoI can undergo a maximum of three readings:
- (a) First Reading – Two days minimum, Six days maximum (with an additional 48-hour extension if requested)
- (b) Second Reading – One day minimum, Four days maximum (with an additional 24-hour extension if requested)
- (c) Third reading – One day minimum, Three days maximum
4) SoIs are generally expected to cover one specific area of the Department’s remit. However, Departments are encouraged to submit one specific SoI each per term which shall be considered a Departmental Review. These should cover all areas of the Department’s remit.
5) The Treasury Departmental Review is the Budget.
6) Proposals contained in SoIs that the Speaker adjudges not to require primary legislation to be enacted are deemed passed when the SoI’s cessation period ends, unless the SoI is blocked.
7) SoIs may be sent to vote at any point during their cessation period by notifying the Speaker. The members who may do so are the Minister whose Department submitted the SoI, the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition.
8) SoIs which do not pass the vote are considered blocked.