Other business

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8.36In the Commons other business may be entered upon before the report of the Queen's speech by the Speaker. The order of such business on the first day of a session is:

  1. Motions for the issue of new writs.
  2. Oral notices of introduction of bills.
  3. Queen's speech.1

Urgent questions are not accepted on the first day of a session,2 nor may an application be made for an emergency debate under Standing Order No 24.3 There is no precedent for ministerial statements being made on such a day, since they can be made in debate on the Queen's speech.

In the Lords, by contrast, other business may be taken only after the Lord Speaker has reported the Queen's speech and the debate on the Address has been adjourned. Such business is restricted to the appointment, by motion moved by the Leader of the House, of the Chairman and Principal Deputy Chairman of Committees, and to the agreement (by formal entry in the Minutes) to Sessional Orders relating to the maintenance of access to the Palace of Westminster, the laying on the Table by the Clerk of the Parliaments of a list of Members of that House and, pursuant to Standing Order No 9(4), of the register of hereditary peers (other than peers of Ireland) who wish to stand in any by-election for membership of the House held in accordance with the House of Lords Act 1999, s 2(4). No other business is normally taken at this sitting. The introduction of new bills takes place on the following day, though exceptionally they could be introduced on the first day if that were the last sitting day before a weekend (normally a Thursday).


  1. 1. It has become the practice of the House that at the start of each session the Speaker makes a statement about the duties and responsibilities of Members. See, for example, HC Deb (21 June 2017) 626, c 32.
  2. 2. Speaker's private ruling of 9 November 1965.
  3. 3. Speaker's private ruling of 3 November 1977.