Motion to discuss matter of special interest

Standing order 50 provides that at any time when other business is not before the House a Minister may state to the House a proposal to discuss a matter of special interest in preference to moving a specific motion. The Minister must then move a motion specifying the time to be allotted to the debate. The Minister then moves ‘That [stating subject matter] be considered by the House’. The motion may be withdrawn, without leave, by a Minister at the expiration of the time allotted to the debate. A matter of special interest has been discussed by the House on only one occasion, when it was discussed early in the order of business prior to the giving of notices.[392]

This procedure may be regarded as corresponding, from a ministerial point of view, to a matter of public importance (the practice of the House being that Ministers do not submit MPIs—see Chapter on ‘Non-government business’).