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Birmingham Commonwealth Games Bill [HL]

Volume 800: debated on Wednesday 23 October 2019

Third Reading

A privilege amendment was made.


Moved by

My Lords, in begging to move that this Bill do now pass, I note my gratitude that this House has recognised the importance of this Bill by supporting the carryover Motion that brought us to Third Reading. Taking up the Bill at this stage also offers me the opportunity to recognise and thank my noble friend Lord Ashton of Hyde for the excellent job he did in taking the Bill through its previous stages, ably supported by my noble friend Lord Younger of Leckie.

As my noble friend Lord Coe reflected at Second Reading, legislation such as the Commonwealth Games Bill provides,

“the crucial framework, foundations, provisions and protections”,—[Official Report, 25/6/19; col. 1019.]

on which the successful and seamless delivery of an event of the scale of the Commonwealth Games relies. I echo that sentiment and am glad that this House has gone about its scrutiny with that in mind.

I also reflect—as I know my noble friend Lord Ashton would have—on the informed and constructive engagement undertaken by this House on the Bill, particularly from the noble Lords, Lord Griffiths and Lord Addington, on the Front Benches opposite. I also thank the Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee for its detailed and helpful consideration of the Bill. Finally, my thanks go to the Bill team led by the Bill manager Jo Trapp and deputy Bill manager Tim Dwyer.

I am pleased that, for the first time in my role as a Minister at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, I can touch—albeit briefly—on the truly exciting opportunities created by the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. It has been a strong feature of the debates on this Bill that the Games are about far more than just two weeks of sport and will unlock opportunities for people across the region and the UK, delivering significant benefits after the 11 days of sport in 2022 are over.

I welcome this House’s great enthusiasm for and interest in the Games, and I fully appreciate the desire of noble Lords to be kept updated as plans progress. Indeed, since we last met, the organising committee has published its annual accounts and its chief executive has written to noble Lords who have spoken on the Bill to update them on the delivery of the Games. I beg to move.

My Lords, I echo what has been said and warmly second the list of thanks that was offered so well—especially as I was included in it. In addition to those listed, I thank my noble friends Lord Rooker and Lord Hunt. We heard wonderful disquisitions from the noble Lord, Lord Moynihan, and I know there will be many more in the future. I have already welcomed the noble Baroness to her post and I very much look forward to working with her, but: she must be very careful in that job because, if she looks to her right, she will see what just might happen to her.

My Lords, I welcome the noble Baroness to her role. This is a very happy and really unusual moment in this House, in that we have something that we all agree on. I encourage everybody to, first, apply for tickets, and, secondly, to look to sponsor another big sporting event soon.

My Lords, briefly, I associate myself with the expressions of support we have already heard. There is no question but that Birmingham has done both the Commonwealth and sport a great advantage through its willingness to take on the production of these Games at short notice after a previous candidate had to withdraw. So far as we can see, the arrangements are proceeding at pace and are well judged. On this occasion, we can comprehensively wish Birmingham a good strong following wind.

My Lords, this is too good an opportunity to miss. In thanking the noble Baroness and her colleague for steering the Bill through, I want to put a question to her, as suggested by my noble friend Lord Faulkner. Can she assure me that Kings Heath station will be reopened in time for the Commonwealth Games?

Bill passed and sent to the Commons.