Jacob Rees-Mogg insists Boris Johnson did not mislead
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PMQs usually takes place each Wednesday and provides an opportunity for MPs and the Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer, to put questions to Prime Minister Boris Johnson. However, this week there will be no PMQs.
Why is PMQs cancelled today?
The House of Commons was adjourned on Thursday, March 31 for the Easter recess, which means no sessions will be held in the chamber.
A recess is a phrase that’s used to describe the period when the Commons is not sitting.
MPs will reconvene from the recess on Tuesday, April 19.
The remaining recess periods for the Commons in 2022 are as follows:
- May: April 28 – May 3
- Whitsun: May 26 – June 6
A provisional date for the Commons to rise for its Summer 2022 recess has been announced (July 21), but is not yet confirmed.
Traditionally, the Government did not give MPs the exact dates of the recess more than a few months in advance.
Knowing how long a Parliament will sit for can aid opposition parties in their bids to thwart the progress of Government legislation.
But as Parliament modernises with the wider world, recess dates are now usually announced ahead of time, though they are subject to the progress of Parliamentary business.
What happens during a session of PMQs?
In general, a session of PMQs lasts from 12 to 12.30pm, but these can occasionally drag on past the allotted time.
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The session will begin when the Speaker of the Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, formally announces “questions to the Prime Minister”.
An MP will then ask the PM a question about their engagements to kick-off the discussion – known as an ‘open question’.
Following the answer, the MP then raises a particular issue, often one of current political significance.
The leader of the opposition then follows up on this or another topic and is permitted to ask six questions – the most of any politician in the Commons.
They are also the only MP who is allowed to come back with further questions.
Meanwhile, the leader of the next largest party in the House of Commons – currently Ian Blackford of the Scottish National Party (SNP) – is permitted two questions.
Backbench MPs can also put questions to the PM. They must enter their names on the Order Paper, which will then be shuffled in a ballot to produce a random sequence.
One at a time they will then be called up by the Speaker to ask their question.
Questions are usually asked in an alternating fashion – one MP from the Government’s party, followed by one from the opposition benches.
Due to the way PMQs is structured the PM will not know what questions will be asked of them.
However, before the session begins they will be extensively briefed by Government departments in anticipation of likely subjects they could be asked about.
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