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House of Commons Hansard
19 July 2017
Volume 627

  • On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Yesterday’s Order Paper said that the debate on drugs could continue until 7 o’clock. The final speaker sat down four minutes early. The normal practice in this House is then to use that time for other speakers to contribute. It was particularly interesting that the final speaker, the Minister, had denied interventions on the grounds that she did not have enough time to finish. The Standing Orders are not clear on this point. Is it not right that we get some definition of past practice in relation to cases where speakers do not have anything else left to say and other Members can contribute to what would then be a full debate?

  • I am very grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his point of order and for his characteristic courtesy in giving me advance notice somewhat earlier of his intention to raise it. I am loth to quibble with the hon. Gentleman, who is a considerable authority on matters parliamentary, as evidence by the well-thumbed tome on how to be a Back Bencher of which he is the distinguished author. That said, I am inclined slightly to quibble with him on his proposition that it is normal or commonplace, if a ministerial wind-up concludes early, for other Members to be invited to contribute. In my experience, that is not commonplace. I would not say that it never happens, because you can almost always find an example of something if you try hard enough, but certainly when I am in the Chair I tend to work on the assumption that the ministerial wind-up is indeed the conclusion of the debate.

    I note what the hon. Gentleman says about the conclusion of this debate taking place earlier than listed on the Order Paper, although I am sure that he will readily accept that the Official Report—that is to say, the verbatim account of what was said; there is no question of misleading anybody—will show that the debate concluded a little early. The Chair does not normally allow a further Back-Bench speech, and—this is not directed at the hon. Gentleman; it is just a wider point—certainly not from a Member who had already made a substantial speech in the debate.

    As for interventions, the hon. Gentleman, as the author of “How To Be An MP”—available in all good bookshops, and of which I am myself a noted admirer, as he knows—he will appreciate that a Member is free to take interventions or not. I note what he tells me—that the Minister said, “No, I can’t take interventions because I haven’t time”—but that is not something on which the Chair can rule. Sometimes Ministers can be a tad neurotic in these circumstances, it is true, as can sometimes, perhaps, shadow Ministers, but that is not a matter for the Chair. Whether the Member seeking to intervene likes it or not, the situation is as I have described.

    Let me take this opportunity, in a positive spirit, to encourage all new Members—I am not sure the Whips would agree about this—to read the hon. Gentleman’s books on being a good parliamentarian. [Interruption.] “No!”, says a Government Whip, chuntering from a sedentary position, in evident horror at what bad habits new members of the flock might pick up. I think that they are fine tomes. The hon. Gentleman has used his position as a Back-Bench Member to stand up for his constituents and to fight for the principles in which he believes. That has sometimes pleased his party and sometimes not, but that is what we are supposed to get here—Members of Parliament who speak to their principles and their consciences. That is a good thing, and, as he knows, I like to encourage it. In fact, when I was a Back Bencher, I had a relationship with my Whips characterised by trust and understanding—I didn’t trust them and they didn’t understand me.

  • On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Yesterday, the Department of Health accounts were finally laid before the House, after a week of to-ing and fro-ing that prompted no actual changes, as I understand it, to them. The Comptroller and Auditor General has raised some concerns about the accounts. I seek your guidance on two points, Mr Speaker. First, the accounts have again been laid late. Last year, they were laid on the final day on which Parliament sat; this time, they were laid only a couple of days before the final day. Secondly, what can we do to ensure that a Minister turns up to the House to explain the Department of Health accounts and address the financial concerns that many Members of the House, and not least the Public Accounts Committee, have about the Government’s handling of health finances?

  • I am very grateful to the hon. Lady, who has put her concern on the record. It will have been heard by those on the Treasury Bench, and I suspect that the contents of her point of order will wing their way to Health Ministers ere long. The truth of the matter is that there is no resolution of her grievance available from the Chair. The Select Committee on Health may wish to return to this matter if it is dissatisfied, and the Public Accounts Committee, of which the hon. Lady is herself the distinguished Chair, may wish to pursue this matter further. Realistically, I fear that that will have to wait until September, although if the hon. Lady—she is of course a London Member, and a very assiduous attender—is present in her place tomorrow for the summer Adjournment debate and wishes to expatiate further on her concerns, she may well find she is able to catch the eye of the Chair.

    If there are no further points of order—I think that there are none—we come now to the presentation of Bills.

    Bills presented

    Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Bill

    Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

    Chris Bryant, supported by Holly Lynch, Stephen Crabb, Mr Graham Brady, Ms Harriet Harman, Mr Dominic Grieve, Jo Stevens, Diana Johnson, Tulip Siddiq, Lilian Greenwood, Carolyn Harris and Philip Davies, presented a Bill to make provision about offences when perpetrated against emergency workers, and persons assisting such workers; to make certain offences aggravated when perpetrated against such workers in the exercise of their duty; to require persons suspected of certain assaults against such workers which may pose a health risk to provide intimate samples and to make it an offence, without reasonable excuse, to refuse to provide such samples; and for connected purposes.

    Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 20 October, and to be printed (Bill 7).

    Mental Health Units (Use of Force) Bill

    Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

    Mr Steve Reed, supported by Norman Lamb, Mr Charles Walker, Jim Shannon, Keith Vaz, Sarah Jones, Mr David Lammy, Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, Marsha De Cordova, Caroline Lucas, Clive Lewis and Heidi Allen, presented a Bill to make provision about the oversight and management of the appropriate use of force in relation to people in mental health units and similar institutions; to make provision about the use of body cameras by police officers in the course of duties in relation to people in mental health units; and for connected purposes.

    Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 3 November, and to be printed (Bill 8).

    Parliamentary Constituencies (Amendment) Bill

    Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

    Afzal Khan, supported by Joanna Cherry, Hannah Bardell, Mr Alistair Carmichael, Liz Saville Roberts, Lady Hermon and Caroline Lucas, presented a Bill to amend the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986 to make provision about the number and size of parliamentary constituencies in the United Kingdom; and for connected purposes.

    Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 1 December, and to be printed (Bill 9).

    Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation and Liability for Housing Standards) Bill

    Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

    Ms Karen Buck, supported by Luciana Berger, Jess Phillips, Matthew Pennycook, Shabana Mahmood, Heidi Allen, Marsha De Cordova, Andy Slaughter, Alex Sobel, Kate Green, Diana Johnson and Clive Efford, presented a Bill to amend the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 to require that residential rented accommodation is provided and maintained in a state of fitness for human habitation; to amend the Building Act 1984 to make provision about the liability for works on residential accommodation that do not comply with Building Regulations; and for connected purposes.

    Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 19 January 2018, and to be printed (Bill 10).

  • Friday 19 January is a splendid day—it is my birthday.

    Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration Etc.) Bill

    Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

    Tim Loughton, supported by Mr Graham Brady, Dame Caroline Spelman, Mrs Anne Main, Frank Field, Heidi Allen, Caroline Lucas and Antoinette Sandbach, presented a Bill to provide that opposite sex couples may enter a civil partnership; to make provision about the registration of the names of the mother of each party to a marriage or civil partnership; to make provision about the registration of stillborn deaths; to give coroners the power to investigate stillborn deaths; and for connected purposes.

    Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 2 February 2018, and to be printed (Bill 11).

    Organ Donation (Deemed Consent) Bill

    Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

    Mr Geoffrey Robinson, supported by Paul Flynn, Sir Vince Cable, Caroline Lucas, Michael Fabricant, Liz Saville Roberts, Dr Philippa Whitford, Kate Green, Sir Oliver Letwin, Jim Shannon, Angela Rayner and Crispin Blunt, presented a Bill to enable persons in England to withhold consent for organ donation and transplantation; and for connected purposes.

    Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 23 February 2018, and to be printed (Bill 12).

    Refugees (Family Reunion) (No. 2) Bill

    Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

    Angus Brendan MacNeil, supported by Stephen Twigg, Robert Neill, Stuart C. McDonald, Tulip Siddiq, Tim Farron, Jim Shannon, Caroline Lucas, Anna Soubry, Ian Blackford, Stella Creasy and Hywel Williams, presented a Bill to make provision for leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom to be granted to the family members of refugees and of people granted humanitarian protection; to provide for legal aid to be made available for such family reunion cases; and for connected purposes.

    Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 16 March 2018, and to be printed (Bill 13).

    Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Bill

    Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

    Kevin Hollinrake, supported by Will Quince, Sir Nicholas Soames, Craig Tracey, Carolyn Harris, Antoinette Sandbach, Jeremy Quin, Huw Merriman, Victoria Prentis, Diana Johnson and Rebecca Pow, presented a Bill to make provision about leave and pay for employees whose children have died.

    Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 20 October, and to be printed (Bill 14).

    Representation of the People (Young People’s Enfranchisement and Education) Bill

    Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

    Vicky Foxcroft, on behalf of Jim McMahon, supported by Jeremy Corbyn, Tom Watson, Peter Kyle, Diana Johnson, Lucy Powell, Sir Peter Bottomley, Stephen Gethins, Jo Swinson, Jonathan Edwards and Caroline Lucas, presented a Bill to reduce the voting age to 16 in parliamentary and other elections; to make provision about young people’s education in citizenship and the constitution; and for connected purposes.

    Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 3 November, and to be printed (Bill 15).

    Overseas Electors Bill

    Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

    Glyn Davies presented a Bill to make provision extending the basis on which British citizens outside the UK qualify to participate in parliamentary elections; and for connected purposes.

    Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 23 February 2018, and to be printed (Bill 16).

    Parking (Code of Practice) Bill

    Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

    Sir Greg Knight, supported by Kevin Brennan, Pete Wishart, Mr Jacob Rees-Mogg, Daniel Zeichner and Graham Jones, presented a Bill to make provision for and in connection with a code of practice containing guidance about the operation and management of private parking facilities; and for connected purposes.

    Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 2 February 2018, and to be printed (Bill 17).

  • I think the nation should be aware that, perhaps because the right hon. Gentleman’s Bill relates to parking, he is sporting a notably colourful tie, which features a very large number of cars. Knowing his penchant, I assume that they are classic cars.

  • They are, indeed.

    Unpaid Trial Work Periods (Prohibition) Bill

    Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

    Stewart Malcolm McDonald, supported by Ian Murray, Lady Hermon, Caroline Lucas, Christine Jardine, Patricia Gibson, David Linden, Alison Thewliss, Chris Stephens, Patrick Grady, Carol Monaghan and Martin Whitfield, presented a Bill to prohibit unpaid trial work periods in certain circumstances; and for connected purposes.

    Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 16 March 2018, and to be printed (Bill 18).

    Prisons (Interference with Wireless Telegraphy) Bill

    Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

    Esther McVey, supported by Andrew Selous, David T. C. Davies, Kirstene Hair, Trudy Harrison, Philip Davies, Mr Jacob Rees-Mogg, Mr Christopher Chope, Paul Farrelly, Mr Kevan Jones, Mr Stephen Hepburn and Sir Edward Davey, presented a Bill to make provision about interference with wireless telegraphy in prisons and similar institutions.

    Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 1 December, and to be printed (Bill 19).

    Stalking Protection Bill

    Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

    Dr Sarah Wollaston, supported by Mrs Cheryl Gillan, Ms Harriet Harman, Alex Chalk, Antoinette Sandbach, Luciana Berger, Richard Graham, Victoria Prentis, Maria Caulfield, Mims Davies, Jess Phillips and Vicky Ford, presented a Bill to make provision for protecting persons from risks associated with stalking; and for connected purposes.

    Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 19 January 2018, and to be printed (Bill 20).

  • Friday 19 January—I do hope I am here.

    Employment and Workers’ Rights Bill

    Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

    Stephanie Peacock, supported by Louise Haigh, Rachel Reeves, Dan Jarvis, Ellie Reeves, Clive Lewis, Lisa Nandy, Jo Stevens, Ian Mearns, Mike Amesbury, Laura Smith and Chris Stephens, presented a Bill to make provision about employment conditions and workers’ rights; and for connected purposes.

    Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 27 April 2018, and to be printed (Bill 21).

    Licensing of Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles (Safeguarding and Road Safety) Bill

    Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

    Daniel Zeichner presented a Bill to make provision about the exercise of taxi and private hire vehicle licensing functions in relation to persons about whom there are safeguarding or road safety concerns; and for connected purposes.

    Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 2 February 2018, and to be printed (Bill 22).

    Freedom of Information (Extension) Bill

    Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

    Andy Slaughter, supported by Dan Jarvis, Jo Stevens, David Hanson, Ian C. Lucas, Ruth Cadbury, Christian Matheson, Clive Efford, Stephen Timms, Ms Karen Buck, Louise Haigh and Kate Green, presented a Bill to make providers of social housing, local safeguarding children boards, Electoral Registration Officers, Returning Officers and the Housing Ombudsman public authorities for the purposes of the Freedom of Information Act 2000; to make information held by persons contracting with public authorities subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000; to extend the powers of the Information Commissioner; and for connected purposes.

    Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 15 June 2018, and to be printed (Bill 23).

    Representation of the People (Young People’s Enfranchisement) Bill

    Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

    Peter Kyle, supported by Nicky Morgan, Norman Lamb, Sir Peter Bottomley, Rachel Reeves, Ruth Smeeth, Wes Streeting, Anna Turley, Holly Lynch, Conor McGinn, Caroline Lucas and Jim McMahon, presented a Bill to reduce the voting age to 16 in parliamentary and other elections; to make provision for auto-enrolment onto the electoral register for people aged 16 to 24; to make provision about the use of educational establishments as polling stations; and for connected purposes.

    Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 11 May 2018, and to be printed (Bill 24).

    Physician Associates (Regulation) Bill

    Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

    Anne Marie Morris presented a Bill to make provision for the regulation of physician associates; to make physician associate a protected title; and for connected purposes.

    Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 26 October 2018, and to be printed (Bill 25).

    National Living Wage (Extension to Young People) Bill

    Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

    Holly Lynch, supported by Chris Bryant, Jo Stevens, Anna Turley, Wes Streeting, Jess Phillips, Tulip Siddiq, Ruth Smeeth, Gareth Snell, Conor McGinn, Naz Shah and Graham Jones, presented a Bill to extend the National Living Wage to people aged 18 to 24.

    Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 6 July 2018, and to be printed (Bill 26).

  • I thank colleagues for their patience.