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Procedure and Privileges Committee

Volume 811: debated on Monday 15 March 2021

Motion to Agree

Moved by

That the Report from the Select Committee Private Members’ Bills ballots; Extending Secretary of State’s questions (7th Report, HL Paper 237) be agreed to.

My Lords, I beg to move that the seventh report from the Procedure and Privileges Committee be agreed to. The report concerns two issues which the committee agreed to put to the House following its meeting on 2 March. The first is Private Members’ Bills ballots at the beginning of a Session, where we suggest a more streamlined approach which focuses resources better on the preparation of the Bills which are most likely to be considered in the House. The second is to extend what are currently Oral Questions for Secretaries of State sitting in the Lords to include departmental Ministers sitting in the Lords who are full members of the Cabinet. This extension would enable the House to question regularly the noble Lord, Lord Frost, on his ministerial portfolio, following his appointment as a full member of the Cabinet at the beginning of this month. Should the House agree to the Motion before it, it is envisaged that the first such Question Time would take place on Thursday 25 March, and a ballot for questions to be taken that day has been opened today in the Table Office. I beg to move.

My Lords, I have just one question. I must declare an interest: I have a Private Member’s Bill, the referendums Bill, which is first in the queue for consideration dating from the last ballot. Of course, we have not been able to have debates on any of those Bills because of the striking of Covid a year ago. Can the Senior Deputy Speaker tell the House whether the intention is to roll over the ballot that has not been fulfilled from last year or whether there is going to be a new ballot at the beginning of the next parliamentary Session?

I thank the noble Lord for the question. My information at present is that there will be no rollover; there will be a new ballot, but I will confirm that to the noble Lord in writing.

Motion agreed.

Sitting suspended.