Parliamentary Questions

Daniel asks Parliamentary Questions on behalf of Constituents and about subjects that are of interest to himself as an MP and as a politician.

He has asked hundreds of Questions since becoming an MP in 2005. You can take a look at the Questions and Answers by following the instructions in the column to the right.

What are Parliamentary Questions?

MPs can ask Parliamentary Questions of any Minister in the Government, including the Prime Minister. The Questions will usually be seeking information or pressing for action from the relevant Minister or his Department.

A Minister from the Department that is asked the Parliamentary Question is obliged to answer the Question, provided it meets certain rules. This means that the Government's Ministers have to defend their work, their policies and their decision making processes in public. There are usually around 40,000 questions asked each year. Almost all of these are Written Parliamentary Questions, which are submitted and replied to in writing, and are also published in Hansard and elsewhere.

Around 3,000 Questions per year are Oral Parliamentary Questions, which MPs may submit to be answered in person by a Minister from the relevant Department in the Chamber of the House of Commons. The opportunities for MPs to ask Oral Questions are allocated by ballot, using a random computer shuffle.

Departments answer Oral Questions by rota, except for the Prime Minister, who answers questions at midday every Wednesday while the House is sitting. If Oral Questions do not get answered in the Chamber, because time runs out, then they are answered in writing, as standard Written Parliamentary Questions.

There are rules governing the content of Parliamentary Questions. Departments must answer every Question, unless it is ruled too costly to do so (the current limit is around £600). However, Questions are transferred to a different Department if it is more appropriate to do so.