In November 2009, the Select Committee on Reform of the House of Commons recommended the establishment of a House Business Committee to “assemble a draft agenda to put to the House in a weekly motion”. Although, the House approved the establishment of a House Business Committee and the Coalition Agreement included a commitment to establish it, a House Business Committee has not been set up. The current Government has no intention of bringing forward proposals to establish a House Business Committee.

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In November 2009, the Select Committee on Reform of the House of Commons (the Wright Committee) recommended the establishment of a House Business Committee to “assemble a draft agenda to put to the House in a weekly motion”.

On 4 March 2010, the House endorsed the establishment of a House Business Committee in the next Parliament (the 2010 Parliament).

The Coalition Agreement committed the Government “bring forward the proposals of the Wright Committee for reform to the House of Commons in full” and said that “A House Business Committee, to consider government business, will be established by the third year of the Parliament”. Early in the current Parliament, ministers confirmed this intention and answered questions on the remit, operation and composition of the House Business Committee. However, in 2013, the Government decided not to bring forward proposals.

In the Mid-Term Review of the Coalition Agreement (January 2013), the Government noted that the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee was undertaking an inquiry into the implementation of the Select Committee on Reform of the House of Commons reforms, “which the Government will engage with as usual”.

In May 2013, Andrew Lansley, Leader of the House of Commons, told the Committee that he did not see the possibility of consensus in establishing a House Business Committee because of the diversity of views on function and composition. He had set a number of tests to evaluate options for such a committee but had not identified a proposal that met them.

In its July 2013 review of the impact of the Wright reforms, the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee put forward a proposal for a House Business Committee. In its December 2013 response, the Government said that it did not believe that a consensus could be built around the proposal; and told the Committee that, given the absence of consensus, it did not plan to pursue the establishment of a House Business Committee at the time. This remained the Government’s view in July 2014.

On 9 July 2015, Dr Thérèse Coffey, the Deputy Leader of the House, told the House that the Government had no intention of bringing forward proposals to establish a House Business Committee.

There is a separate Standard Note on The Backbench Business Committee (SN/PC/5654).

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