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Arrangement of Business

Volume 729: debated on Thursday 11 August 2011


My Lords, with the usual channels’ agreement, our business today will essentially follow our established procedure for the repetition of two Statements in this House, but with some added structure and time extensions.

My noble friend the Leader of the House will shortly repeat a Statement on public disorder made earlier to the House of Commons by my right honourable friend the Prime Minister. There will then follow contributions from the Leader of the Opposition and, on this occasion, the most reverend Primate the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Leader will then reply to those contributions, I hope within the 20 minutes usual for Front-Bench comments and questions on Statements.

Time for Back-Bench interventions will then follow. I suggest that we should first hear from the Convenor-elect, then from the noble Baroness, Lady Hussein-Ece, and then I know that the House will wish to hear from the noble Lord, Lord Hunt of Kings Heath, who usually speaks on these matters for the Opposition.

I suggest that we should take around 40 minutes for further Back-Bench contributions. I am, as is clear today, aware of the significant interest around the House, but remind Members that interventions on Statements are restricted to “brief comments and questions” and that this is not the occasion for an immediate debate. At the end of Back-Bench interventions, my noble friend Lady Browning will reply to those questions en bloc for about another 10 minutes.

This is a procedure that has been designed to fit today’s circumstances and one which I hope will commend itself to the House. It gives us some structure to our day and some balance in the time available for the two Statements before us today.

When our proceedings on the first Statement are complete, my noble friend Lord Sassoon will repeat a Statement on the global economy, so long as my right honourable friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer has by then started to make that Statement to the House of Commons. As ever, if that is not the case, we will need to adjourn briefly during pleasure until we are in a position to take the Statement. Proceedings will be similar on the second Statement. There will be 20 minutes for Front-Bench contributions, about 40 minutes for Back-Bench contributions and the Minister will reply at the end. If we manage to keep to roughly those timings, the House should rise by 3 pm.

I should like to remind all Members of the House that at 3 pm today my noble friends Lady Browning and Lord Wallace of Saltaire will be hosting an all-Peers meeting on the subject of the first Statement. It will be in Committee Room G, and all Members of this House are most welcome. It will give us all the opportunity to look at these matters in more detail.

Before the Leader rises to make the first Statement, I am sure that the whole House will want to join me in expressing our thanks to the staff of the House for enabling us to meet today.