12-14 February 2024 – this week in the Lords

Whilst the Commons takes the week off, their senior colleagues down the corridor continue to work their way through the legislative process…

There were no Liberal Democrat Oral Questions last week, so of course Monday sees two. Dominic Addington has a question on Government plans what plans they have to ensure that all schools have the capacity to identify and implement a plan of support for the most commonly occurring special educational needs, a particularly topical question given the impact of such support on local government budgets. Tim Clement-Jones wants to know what action they are taking to reform the Computer Misuse Act 1990 to enable legitimate independent testing of computer systems, but I fear that he won’t get a very useful response.

The rest of the day is taken up with the seemingly futile task of trying to amend the Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill so that it is in accordance with international law. But even if the Committee Stage sees a successful attempt to amend what is, at heart, a truly ghastly piece of legislation, Conservative MPs will simply overturn it.

Paul Strasburger kicks off the action on Tuesday with a question on protecting freedom of expression in the battle against misinformation.

There follows a series of questions to the Foreign Secretary, David Cameron, on a range of topics from Gaza to the AUKUS partnership. No Liberal Democrat cards were taken, sadly, although there’s every chance of an intervention from our benches.

It’s Day 5 of the Committee Stage of the Victims and Prisoners Bill, where Sal Brinton has sponsored two probing amendments seeking Government action on speeding up compensation to those affected by the infected blood scandal and those impacted by the failed Horizon accounting system. But perhaps of more long-term interest is her amendment introducing a duty of candour in relation to major incidents.

And finally, on Wednesday, it’s Day 2 of the Committee Stage of the Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill. Hardly an appropriate way to mark St Valentines Day, is it?…

* Mark Valladares is the Lords Correspondent for Liberal Democrat Voice.

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One Comment

  • David Symonds 13th Feb '24 - 12:16pm

    If there is a hung Parliament at the election in 2024, hopefully Lib Dems can get Labour to reform the rotted Lords. What a shambles and so undemocratic! Remove the clergy, hereditary peers and enforce an 80% elected Senate using the EU constituencies and Senators serve six years and half retire every three. The other 20% nominees from a special Commission away from the power of party leaders to nominate. I saw that a Tory leader of a local council had been made a life peer- shameful.

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