My Lords, a couple of weeks ago I announced the recess dates as far as I was able for the next Session. I am now able to announce provisional dates until next October. The dates will be in the Printed Paper Office, along with the dates for Friday sittings.
The Easter Recess starts when we rise on Thursday 29 March and goes on until Monday 16 April, when we return. For Whitsun, we have from Thursday 24 May until Monday 4 June. For the Summer Recess, we rise on Thursday 26 July and return on Monday 8 October. As the discerning listener will have noticed, there is no September sitting. The Commons decided yesterday not to have September sittings; I think that that was a splendid decision.
I know it is helpful to the House to give the dates of Friday sittings throughout the year, as far as we are able, but I cannot claim credit for coming up with the idea. I shall not read them out now because there are a lot of them, but it helps people to plan. The credit should go to the legendary former Liberal Democrat Chief Whip, the noble Lord, Lord Roper, who suggested that it was helpful to everyone to know in advance as far as possible, especially for those noble Lords who are introducing or hoping to introduce Private Members’ Bills and things of that sort, because they can then have some idea of how they might progress through the year.