What’s on in our Parliaments next week? 7-10 April

Houses of ParliamentThe Scottish Parliament and Welsh Senedd are in recess next week, but Westminster is still sitting.

House of Commons

The Commons is still dealing with the Finance Bill, implementing the measures in the Budget. There, is however, a Justice and Home Affairs debate on Monday.

Communities & Local Government, Foreign Office, the Department of International Development (therefore Lynne Featherstene) and Business, Innovation and Skills face questions.

Adjournment Debates include the closure of Worksop Magistrates’ Court, transparency in business, abortion on the ground of disability and treatment of Cystic Fibrosis.

The abortion debate has been raised by Conservative MP Fiona Bruce who chairs the Parliamentary pro-life group. The Minister’s response will be interesting, but I wouldn’t expect any sign of changes to government policy.

Westminster Hall

Our Andrew George has a debate on lending to business on Tuesday at 4:30. At 11 am on the same day, Robert Syms MP has a debate entitled: Anti-social behaviour and renting  of houses for stag and hen parties. I expect that one will get in the Daily Mail.

On Wednesday, two aspects of welfare reform come under scrutiny – Personal Independence Payments in Wales and Work Capability Assessment stats.

On Thursday, there’s a 2.5 hour debate on the response of the Police to domestic violence.

House of Lords

A few weeks ago, I had the chance to visit the Lords public gallery when I had a while to spare when I was in London for a meeting. I should be in London this Monday as Federal Executive is meeting, but, sadly, it’s in our school holidays so I can’t. It’ll be the first FE I’ve missed and I’m quite sad about it, especially as it’s being held in a completely different venue. The one thing about Parliament that’s annoying is that there are no dial in facilities. The sooner that place gets wi-fied up the better.

Anyway, that half hour or so I spent in the Lords was a bit of a purple patch. They were discussing the Immigration Bill and it was great to hear such brilliant interventions from our own Roger Roberts and Ken Macdonald as well as Brian Pannick and Helena Kennedy, speaking out against the Government’s proposal to render terrorist suspects (note the term suspects, not anyone who has actually been convicted of something) stateless. The Bill gets to its report stage on Monday and I’m sure the debate will be well worth catching up with.

Also on Monday, Baroness Goudie has a question on reducing mental illness among young people.

Our Baroness Kishwer Falkner has a a question on the investigation into the Muslim Brotherhood on Tuesday, which also sees debates on the Pensions and Water Bills.

The Lords finish their term on Wednesday with a debate on higher education.


* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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