26 February – 1 March 2024 – this week in the Lords

Welcome to another preview of the week’s events in the Upper House, one in which a space will become apparent following the loss of Conservative Peer, Patrick Cormack, who passed away over the weekend.

But on to business in what is another long week for the denizens of the red benches. Monday starts with a Liberal Democrat Oral Question – Lorely Burt will be asking the Government what is being done to encourage businesses to employ people with criminal convictions.

The Victims and Prisoners Bill reaches Day 6 of its Committee Stage but the major debate will be over the introduction of Anaesthesia and Physician Associates, with Green Peer Natalie Bennett moving a Motion to Decline, whilst Sal Brinton is moving a Regret Motion.

Tuesday’s highlight is the Animal Welfare (Primate Licences) (England) Regulations 2023. Whilst the regulations have been broadly welcomed, there is a Labour Regret Motion suggesting that they don’t go far enough.

There are two Oral Questions from our benches on Wednesday, with Mike Storey seeking the Government’s assessment on skill shortages affecting business and industry, whilst Dorothy Thornhill seeks their view on the adequacy of the Housing Benefit subsidy for temporary accommodation and whether or not more money will be forthcoming for local authorities.

The House will be asked to agree to the report from the Procedure and Privileges Committee, enabling the temporary exclusion of Members formally charged with a serious violent or sexual offence. I’ll admit to a sense of surprise that this wasn’t already an option.

Thursday is a Liberal Democrat debate day, with Floella Benjamin asking the House to consider the Windrush scandal and the effectiveness of the Windrush Compensation Scheme. I’d expect Floella to be polite but highly critical of the delays in compensating victims of the Home Office and, indeed, those administering the Scheme.

That is followed by Cathy Bakewell, who will ask Peers to note the state of pollution in rivers and the case for regulation of private water companies.

The week ends on Friday with a day for Private Members’ Bills, the Liberal Democrat contribution courtesy of Claire Tyler, whose Schools (Mental Health Professionals) Bill would require every school to have access to a qualified mental health professional. We wish her luck in getting her Bill committed to a Committee of the Whole House.

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

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One Comment

  • >” I’d expect Floella to be polite but highly critical of the delays in compensating victims of the Home Office and, indeed, those administering the Scheme.”
    It has been a little surprising how quite the LibDems have been over the government sanctioned delays in compensation payments to victims of the Post Office Horizon scandal, particularly as a relevant government minister is on public record as saying the compensation needs to be “fair to the taxpayer” what? Compensation needs to be fair the the victims, fair to the taxpayer means miserly payments and delay, delay and delay…

    Given the much higher profile of this scandal, I doubt the government will be too worried about Windrush compensation delays…

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