Group says Prime Minister's Question Time should be prime time

Feb. 12, 2014 at 2:08 AM
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LONDON, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- Prime Minister's Question Time should be moved to a prime time slot so more of the British public can watch on television, an advocacy group said Tuesday.

In a report, the Hansard Society also said that members of Parliament who use abusive language and behavior during question time should be barred from the rest of the debate, the Daily Mirror said. The society recommended abusive members should be physically removed from the House of Commons.

The report suggested that question time, the half hour on Wednesday when MPs can ask the prime minister what they wish, should be moved to Tuesday or Wednesday evening.

A recent Ipsos Mori poll found that British voters are not happy with the way many MPs conduct themselves during question time. About two-thirds, 67 percent, said there was "too much political point-scoring" and half described question time as "noisy and aggressive."

The speaker, John Bercow, frequently intervenes. On one recent occasion, he suggested that Education Secretary Michael Gow should write "I will behave myself at Prime Minister's Questions" 1,000 times.

But the Hansard Society apparently believes genuine penalties are needed.

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