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Monday to Thursday

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19.2On Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, business appointed for the day is disposed of in the order set out below. The items appear in this order in the private and public business notice papers published each morning on which the House sits (see paras 7.3–7.11 ). But the programme is not absolutely rigid. The Government may, for example, choose to supersede the printed Order Paper by moving the adjournment of the House, and any Member may seek to raise a specific and important matter which should have urgent consideration under Standing Order No 24 (see para 19.22 ). On occasion the House has observed a formal silence to mark the death of a Member or some other event.1

The following table of business does not represent the programme of a typical sitting; rather, it indicates the order of precedence between the various classes of business which may happen to come up for disposal on the same day. The order given is not invariable but is the one which on the whole has been found to be the most convenient in modern practice. Certain classes of business—for instance, ministerial statements made orally at unusual times—may be taken in the places indicated below, between orders of the day or, when necessary, interrupting proceedings on an order of the day.

Absence of the Speaker


Business taken immediately after prayers

  1. Reports of Queen's answers to Addresses
  2. Formal communications by the Speaker
  3. Motions for new writs
  4. Private business
  5. Motions for unopposed returns


  1. Questions for oral answer
  2. Urgent questions

Business taken after questions (including business being taken ‘at the commencement of public business’)

  1. Introduction of new Members2
  2. Ministerial statements (and statements by the Speaker including decisions and statements on matters of privilege)
  3. Select committee statements
  4. Proposals to hold an emergency debate under Standing Order No 24
  5. Ceremonial speeches and tributes
  6. Personal statements (including resignation statements)
  7. Matters relating to privilege without notice
  8. Presentation of public bills under Standing Order No 57
  9. Government motions under standing orders relating to referral of matters to general committees
  10. Motions for leave to bring in bills or nomination of select committees under Standing Order No 23

Privilege motions with notice

Orders of the day and Notices of motion

  1. Orders of the day and Notices of motion (proceeded with in the order in which they appear on the Order Paper).
  2. Private business set down under Standing Order No 20 (in which case it starts three hours before the moment of interruption if no other provision is made, any business then under discussion being postponed until such proceedings are over; in practice, alternative provision is usually made).
  3. Urgent motions to be debated under Standing Order No 24 (which may start at a time specified by the Speaker; if the debate is on the same day as the application is granted, any business then under discussion is postponed until such proceedings are over).

Business motions under Standing Order No 15(2)

Business exempted under Standing Order Nos 15(1) and 16

Presentation of public petitions under Standing Order No 153

Adjournment motions under Standing Order No 9(7).


  1. 1. See for example, HC Deb (18 October 2021) 701 c 534, when the minute's silence was led by the Speaker's Chaplain.
  2. 2. Members may also be introduced after Prayers.