Ministerial statements

After Question Time (and any urgent questions that may have been allowed) a government minister may make an oral statement to the House. Notice of statements is not usually given until the day they are to be made.

House of Commons

Oral statements are made after Question Time (or at 11am on a Friday). Statements usually relate to matters of policy or government actions.

At the end of a statement MPs can respond or question the government minister on its contents.

Business Statement

The future business of the House of Commons, usually referred to as the 'business statement', is most often given as a response to an urgent question. It usually takes place at 10.30am on Thursdays if there are no other urgent questions.

It can also be made as a statement which would affect the order in which it occurs in relation to other business on the day. If it is given as a statement it is made following any urgent questions or other statements.

House of Lords

Commons statements will sometimes be repeated in the Lords at an appropriate time to fit in with the main business.

Personal statements

Other statements are occasionally made, for example, by an MP who has resigned as a Minister or wishes to correct an error in a statement they have made to the House of Commons. These statements can only be made with permission of the Speaker.

In the House of Lords a Peer can make a short personal statement in order to correct information given in a speech by them or to reply to claims made about them in the House.

Read ministerial statements

Ministerial statements are published in Hansard, the edited record of what was said in Parliament.

Related information

Urgent question: If something has happened which a Member believes requires an immediate answer from a government minister, he may apply to ask an urgent question. If the Speaker (or in the House of Lords, the Lord Speaker) agrees that the matter is urgent and important, the question will be asked at the end of Question Time.

Read Hansard

Read Questions and debates going back to 1988. Older editions of Hansard are held by the Parliamentary Archives.