Some of the procedures of the House are longstanding. Others are recent. Changes are regularly made, as for example with the provision for a dedicated question time for Secretaries of State who sit in the House. Our guide is the Companion to the Standing Orders and Guide to the Proceedings of the House of Lords, more frequently referred to as the Companion. Even the Clerks have to reach for it when a really obscure point of procedure is raised with them. This week’s quiz relates to the rules and procedures of the House.
1. When a division (vote) is held on a bill or on subordinate legislation, what is the quorum?
2. In a time-limited debate in which peers sign up to speak, it is possible for a peer who has not signed up in advance to speak in what is known as ‘the gap’ – the slot between the end of back-bench speeches and the start of the front-bench speeches – if time allows. What is the maximum number of minutes allowed for someone speaking in the gap?
3. When a minister makes a statement, twenty minutes are allowed for questions from the opposition front benches and the minister’s reply. What is the maximum time then permitted for questions from back-bench members of the House?
4. During Question Time, who is it who rises to call the name of the peer with the question on the Order Paper?
As usual, the first two readers to supply the correct answers will be the winners.
Next week, I will post a bumper Christmas quiz. I also plan to catch up on a number of posts I have been planning…