Documents to download

  • The Summary totals worksheet shows the number of PMQs and the number and percentage attended and missed by Prime Ministers.
  • The Dates absent and cover worksheet lists the dates of PMQs missed by each Prime Minister and the name and position of the Minister deputising for the PM.

Reasons for missing PMQs are generally because the Prime Minster is overseas meeting other Heads of State, attending G7/G8 and G20 summits or, occasionally, because of personal emergencies.

Prime Minister’s Questions  Times

The Prime Minister answers oral questions every Wednesday, when the House is sitting, from 12.00 noon to 12.30pm.

Prime Minster’s absence – Cover

When the Prime Minister is away on an official engagement, their deputy or a senior minister will answer questions during PMQs. On these occasions, a senior shadow minister from the Official Opposition party usually takes the place of the Leader of the Opposition. Details of shadow ministers provided from 2010.

Prime Minister’s Questions pre 1997

Set times for PMQs were introduced in 1961. Until dissolution of the House of Commons in March 1997, PMQs took place twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays for 15 minutes. From the return of the House of Commons in May 1997, PMQs switched to one 30-minute session every Wednesday.

Further information

The Commons Library briefing on Prime Minister’s Questions details the procedures for the tabling of questions for Prime Minister’s Question Time and provides a brief history of PMQs.

Use Search parliamentary material to search for PMQs by session, by Prime Minister or by topic.


Parliament: facts and figures

This series of publications contains data on various subjects relating to Parliament and Government. Topics include legislation, MPs, select committees, debates, divisions and Parliamentary procedure.


Please send any comments or corrections to the Parliament & Constitution Centre. Suggestions for new lists welcomed.

Documents to download

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