… so that Ministers can use their own question times for actually answering the questions put to them about their departments!

Mark Harper MP:
"I, too, greatly enjoyed [Harriet Harman’s PMQs] performance yesterday. May I give her a word of advice? Perhaps she should retain that team of script writers, because I have to say that I have not enjoyed today’s questions as much.

Seriously, Mr. Speaker, you will have noticed an increasing practice among Ministers when they are questioned about their departmental responsibilities. They try to turn things around and ask questions of Opposition Members. Will the right hon. and learned Lady consider the innovation of having questions to Opposition Members? In that way, Ministers could spend the whole of oral questions focusing on answering for their responsibilities and the performance of Her Majesty’s Government, rather than on trying to question us. They will have time to do that after the next general election."

Harriet Harman MP: "The point of business questions is to give the House an opportunity to air concerns. They are not supposed to be a laugh, but a serious occasion on which hon. Members from both sides can raise questions to do with their constituencies and the business of the House. In that spirit, I attempt to answer questions, not ask them myself."

Click here for the Hansard transcript of Thursday’s Business Questions, or here for a review of Harman’s attempts to bat away questions at PMQs.