Number of PMQs by Parliament and number attended by the Prime MinisterJump to full report >>
This list notes the number of Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) attended by the Prime Minister since 1979.
• Table 1 shows the number of PMQs and the number and percentage attended and missed by Prime Ministers.
• Table 2 lists the dates of PMQs missed by each Prime Minister and the name and position of the Minister deputising. Reasons for missing PMQs are generally because the Prime Minster is overseas meeting other Heads of State, attending G8/ G20 summits or, occasionally, because of personal emergencies.
The Prime Minister answers oral questions every Wednesday, when the House is sitting, from 12.00 noon to 12:30pm.
When Minister is away on an official engagement, their deputy or a senior minister will answer questions during (PMQs). On these occasions, a senior Shadow Minister from the Official Opposition party will take the place of the Leader of the Opposition.
Until dissolution of the House of Commons in March 1997, PMQs took place twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays for 15 minutes. From the return of the House of Commons in May 1997, PMQs switched to one 30 minute session every Wednesday.
Commons Briefing papers SN04401
Author: Sarah Priddy
Topic: House of Commons