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Arrangement of Business

Volume 710: debated on Wednesday 20 May 2009


My Lords, taking that as my cue, I am sure that I need not say that we are about to consider a very important and serious piece of business. It may be helpful to the House if I say a few words at this point to outline how we envisage today’s debate working.

The usual channels have given very careful consideration to how today’s debate should progress. We have taken the view that the best approach is to have one debate on the two Motions before the House to approve the reports from the Committee for Privileges. The debate will be opened and closed by the Lord Chairman. After the Lord Chairman has opened the debate, it will be normal for him to be followed by my noble friend the Lord President, the other leaders and the Convenor of the Cross Benches. After this point, any other noble Lord who wishes to speak should do so. Then the Lord Chairman will make a closing speech and will endeavour to answer any points raised. After the debate on the two reports, the House will be asked to make decision in sequence, approving each report and then approving the two subsequent Motions on sanctions.

Finally, I should perhaps remind the House at this point that the normal rules of debate apply, as do our conventions on courtesy and conduct. Noble Lords should confine their remarks to the content of the reports before the House today.