The questions would not be known in advance by the Minister, making question time less predictable as currently questions have to be submitted two weeks in advance. Chris Lyttle initially proposed the idea at the Assembly Procedures Committee on the 8th November 2011. Topical Questions will begin in September after the Assembly passed a motion on it today.
Chris Lyttle MLA said: “There is a belief that the current Assembly Question Time arrangements lack spontaneity. Ministers can be too well prepared as questions must be submitted 12 days before hand. This can also lead to more current issues not being covered.
“I am very pleased that my proposal of topical questions will begin in September. I hope that it will help MLAs to hold Ministers to account on key issues of public concern.
“It could lead to an increase in interest in Assembly business as it would be similar to Prime Minister Question Time which is the most popular item of Westminster business.”