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Arrangement of Business

Volume 755: debated on Monday 28 July 2014

Announcement

My Lords, I am grateful to all noble Lords for being so timely in the way they concluded the Question for Short Debate and for the co-operation of the Opposition Front Bench, which will make it possible for the House to avoid adjourning during pleasure. We may now move seamlessly from the Question for Short Debate into the rest of the business for today. Before we resume our consideration of a short part of the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill, I thought that, with the leave of the House, it might be helpful if I make a brief statement regarding how we expect matters to proceed for the remainder of today.

As the Question for Short Debate in the name of the noble Baroness, Lady Whitaker, was scheduled as dinner break business, our procedures require us to return to the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill; that is to say, to go back into Committee after that break. I have discussed this with the noble Baroness, Lady Boothroyd, and explained the consequences, and she is content. There is, however, agreement in the usual channels that proceedings on the Bill should now be extremely brief, as the House will no doubt wish to come to the Motion in the name of the noble Baroness, Lady Boothroyd, as quickly as possible. That is why, just before the Question for Short Debate, most unusually, we adjourned consideration in Committee at almost the end of consideration of Amendment 73F. All that remains now, if no other noble Lord is to intervene—and I think it is the will of the House that they do not intervene—is for the Minister, my noble friend Lord Faulks, to respond to the noble Lord, Lord Beecham, on his lead amendment, and for the noble Lord, Lord Beecham, to address himself to the Minister’s remarks.

We would then, if that were achieved, resume the House. I have agreed with the noble Baroness, Lady Boothroyd, and with the usual channels that once the noble Baroness’s Motion is called and she has spoken to it, we might next expect to hear from one Member from each of the groups in this House, very much in the way that we normally do when tackling a debate where there may not be a speakers list—and this is one of those where there cannot be a speakers list. In order to assist an orderly transition into debate, we might expect to hear, first, from the Conservative Benches, from my noble friend Lord MacGregor; from the opposition Benches, from the noble Baroness, Lady Symons of Vernham Dean; from the Liberal Democrat Benches, from my noble friend Lord Tyler; from the Cross Benches, from the noble Lord, Lord Armstrong; and from the Bishops’ Benches if a Bishop wishes to participate. The expectation is that, after those opening speeches, we will continue to rotate around the House as we have on the previous, rare occasions when such matters have been subject to a debate without a speakers list. We have discussed this at some length and I know that the approach has the support of the noble Baroness, Lady Boothroyd, and of the usual channels, and I hope that it will be for the convenience of the House.

As I said, we adjourned consideration of the Bill at the stage when we were almost concluding Amendment 73F, so I shall shortly propose that the House do now resolve itself into a Committee on the Bill, after which we shall run through the procedural nicety, which I am sure will be very effective, of the Minister responding, and of the response from the noble Lord, Lord Beecham; and at that point we will resume the House, and the clerk will call on the noble Baroness, Lady Boothroyd, to move her Motion.