12-16 June: this week in the Lords

I haven’t done this for a while now, and really ought to get back into the habit. But, as all is relatively quiet in terms of Commons business, and the opposite is true in the Lords, perhaps it’s time to take a stab at it…

Monday‘s main piece of business is Day 4 of the Committee Stage of the Illegal Migration Bill. Hopefully, noble Lords won’t be in the chamber until 4.16 a.m., as they were on Thursday morning. It probably won’t be a short day though, as the Opposition benches (and the Bishops) continue their efforts to mitigate some of the more egregious proposals, led by Sally Hamwee, Paul Scriven and Mike German (amongst others). These will include moves to protect victims of trafficking and/or sexual exploitation who, as the Bill currently stands, risk being returned to the very people who have made their lives so desperate already.

Other than that, the House will be asked to appoint three new members to the panel of Deputy Chairmen of Committees, one of whom is Ros Scott. The job is, effectively, that of Speaker, sitting on the Woolsack and steering debate as required. She replaces Monroe Palmer, who should be thanked for his work in the role.

Joan Walmsley has an oral question on Tuesday, asking when the Government intend next to review the renewable transport fuel obligation. Jenny Jones, from the Green bench, is asking what assessment the Government have made of the impact of voter ID rules on people’s ability to vote, and what plans they have to review these rules before the next general election. In light of Jacob Rees-Mogg’s candid admission that Conservative voters were impacted, it will be interesting to see what answer comes from the lips of the Minister.

It’s day 3 of the Report Stage of the Financial Services and Markets Bill, but I’m guessing that the real excitement will be on the Public Order Act 1986 (Serious Disruption to the Life of the Community) Regulations 2023, where the definition of “serious disruption to the life of the community” is offered. There will be a concerted attempt to reject these as they are seen as an attempt to circumvent Parliament’s previous decision to reject the idea during debates on primary legislation.

Wednesday is expected to see Day 5 of the Committee Stage of the Illegal Migration Bill (see above).

There are two Liberal Democrat led short debates on Thursday, with Paul Scriven to move that “this House takes note of the current performance of the NHS and innovation in the health service”, whilst John Shipley invites Peers to consider “the state of local government in England and the case for the reinvigoration of local democracy”.

And, to wrap up the week, Friday sees a plethora of Private Members’ Bills, none of which are sponsored by Liberal Democrats, on subjects ranging from prohibition of the import and export of shark fins to requiring OFCOM to establish a unit to advise the Secretary of State regarding the use of social media platforms to encourage or assist serious self-harm and activities associated with risk of suicide.

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

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