Select committees usually meet at least once a week. Some, such as Public Accounts, meet twice a week. Some meet more often on occasions. At their first meeting, most committees choose a regular day and time for their main meeting(s). They may identify a further regular time for additional meetings as needed.
Committees meet when the House is sitting but most can meet, or travel, during recesses (except during Prorogation, which is normally just a couple of days at the end of a session). They usually try to avoid having a regular meeting time that makes life difficult for committee members who have to travel a long distance or that clashes with the busiest periods in the House – for example, Question Time, particularly on Wednesdays, or the time when oral statements may be made.
This means that most committee meetings are scheduled on Tuesdays or Wednesdays, or on Thursday mornings, with a few on Monday afternoons.
Meetings usually take place in committee rooms either on the main and upper corridors in the Palace or in Portcullis House, though committees can meet to take evidence away from Westminster. Individual committees often have a preferred location for their meetings, but because lots of committees meet at the same time rooms are allocated by ballot, and can be changed depending on which committees are being televised.
All select committee public meetings are available to watch in real time or afterwards on parliamentlive.tv. You can use extracts from webcasts.
Some public meetings are televised for the BBC Parliament channel. Other broadcasters may bid for a particular committee to be televised and to have the live feed made available to them. There is also provision for formal public meetings away from Westminster to be recorded for broadcasting or webcasting.
Contact an expert
Clerk of Committees, Committee Office
- Extension: 3313