Yes, I know that I had intended to write this on Friday, but it was never a pledge, right? But yes, as Liberal Democrat Peers gather from around the country to vote down a piece of Government business, now seems as good a time to publish this…
Yes, Monday will see the Parliamentary Party in the Lords vote in support of Amendment 28A to the Electoral Registration and Administration Bill, sponsored by Lords Hart of Chilton (Labour), Kerr of Kinlochard (Crossbenches), Rennard and Wigley (Plaid Cymru), which postpones the changes intended in subsection 3, Section 10 of the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act 2010 until at least 1 October 2018. The Conservatives will be upset… Pity, that…
Tuesday sees the population of the House rise by one, with the introduction of Baron Williams of Oystermouth. The recently retired Archbishop will sit on the crossbenches, and it will be interesting to see how active he chooses to be. From a Liberal Democrat perspective, interest will centre on the Third Reading of Celia Thomas’s Disabled Persons’ Parking Badges Bill, Day 2 of the Committee Stage of the Public Service Pensions Bill, with Dick Newby in charge, and Alex Carlile’s Short Debate on retraining and work programmes for prisoners.
Liberal Democrat member, Graham Bishop, gives expert evidence to EU Sub-Committee A as it seeks an update on the Euro Area crisis, whilst the main EU Committee hears from Minister for Europe, David Lidington.
The Draft Order providing for a referendum in Scotland on independence is scheduled for approval on Wednesday, although there will be a last attempt from Lord Forsyth of Drumlean to sabotage it. Meanwhile, in Grand Committee, the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill reaches Day 8 of its Committee Stage.
On Thursday, Roger Roberts seeks to encourage the Government to maximise the number of young people on the electoral register, and there are two potentially interesting debates on the Local Government Finance Settlement, and on the impact on families of recent tax and benefits changes. Elsewhere, our man in Brasilia, gives evidence by video link to EU Sub-Committee C, who are considering the European External Action Service.
Finally, Friday provides an opportunity for Lord Stevenson of Coddenham, the former Chairman of HBOS (remember them?) to repair his personal reputation, as his Mental Health (Discrimination) (No. 2) Bill has its Second Hearing.
* Mark Valladares is a member of ALDE Party Council and takes up his role as a member of the International Relations Committee on 1 January 2015