24 Dec 2017

Last calls

From The House , 7:30 am on 24 December 2017

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the House,

Not an MP was stirring, not even Woodhouse.

Legislation had passed through all readings with care,

And the new Speaker Mallard held babes in the chair.

The Hansard team show off their festive decorating skills.

The Hansard team show off their festive decorating skills. Photo: VNP / Daniela Maoate-Cox

It's a been a huge year in Parliament. Leadership changes, an election, a change of government. For politicians it must have felt an exhausting, endless travail. But finally it's over, and they can breathe just a little before it all kicks off again. 

The very last task for MPs for the year - is to decide when they should come back after the Christmas break.

It’s known as the adjournment debate. It pauses Parliament and decides the sitting calendar for the next year.

It’s an odd mixture of light hearted chatter, stinging one-liners and political speechifying. Some MPs have fun with it, other take the final opportunity to draw a narrative around the political year. You can hear highlights in the audio above.