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Why Do MPs Stand Up In The House Of Commons During PMQs?

Why Do MPs Stand Up In The House Of Commons During PMQs?

Watching PMQs can be perplexing, to say the least.

The PMQs sees prime minister Boris Johnson facing questions from both sides of the House of Commons.

Every Wednesday that the Commons is sitting, a select number of MPs are tasked with asking the prime minister a question surrounding an issue on a topic they believe is important to their constituents, taxpayers and residents.

The debate can often become quite animated after the leader of the opposition asks a series of questions.

From echoes of ‘hear hear’, to names not being used (unless by the Speaker), watching PMQs can be perplexing, to say the least. 

Now, onlookers are wondering why MPs stand up, just to sit down again.

Why do MPs stand up during PMQs?

Once a question has been asked to the prime minister and before the PM answers said question, you may see a number of MPs on the backbench standing up before immediately sitting down again.

Well, the reason why they do this is to signal to the Speaker that they themselves want to ask the prime minister a question.

Before a session in the House of Commons, MPs need to put their names down on the Order Paper if they’d like to ask a question.

The Order Paper is prepared beforehand, and the Speaker decides to call them forward when it’s their turn to ask a question.

However, the Speaker may allow extra questions to be asked from MPs, and they stand up to signal that they have something else to ask.

The MPs may not be able to ask their question even if they stand up, though, as there is usually a strict time schedule on the day.

Featured Image Credit: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: Politics, Boris Johnson