Skip to main content

House of Lords: Normal Working Practices

Volume 812: debated on Thursday 20 May 2021

Motion to Resolve

Tabled by

To resolve that, subject to the lifting of the remaining COVID-19 related restrictions on 21 June, the normal working practices of the House shall be restored by 6 September at the latest.

As my noble friend Lord Hunt of Wirral said, I have listened to every single speech in this debate, and it has been a very instructive one. It is quite clear to me that to divide the House tonight would be premature. We have heard a great deal, and there is a strong feeling throughout the House that we should get back to what has been called “normality” as soon as is safely possible. The resolution that I put before the House made that very point and has just been read to Members.

Although it says on our paper today that the debate is expected to end at 10 pm, I will not test your Lordships’ patience. But I would like to make one point. I think we would be unanimous on, among other things, the very moving speech made by the noble Baroness, Lady Campbell of Surbiton. She is someone I am very proud to call a friend. We should remind ourselves that she was very assiduous in her attendance in this House. The House gave her special permission to have a reader to assist her with her speeches. She loves this place, and she does not want to be absent from it any more than is necessary. Of course, we should take account of her special position and that of the noble Baroness, Lady Brinton. But it is the job of a parliamentarian to be in Parliament. That is particularly recognised by my noble friend Lord Shinkwin, who is severely disabled himself but made a very passionate speech tonight.

We should remember those two colleagues—the noble Lord, Lord Kakkar, and my noble friend Lord Hannan—who quoted the Writ of Summons that we all receive. Although it may be couched in somewhat archaic language, it is clear that it is our job to be in this place. I am glad that improvements have been made to the seating arrangements for this debate; so long as it is safe to do so, we need to be here, together, so that the Government are held properly to account, so that we can debate the affairs of the nation and so that we are not sidelined and made to appear obsolete or obsolescent by what happens in the other place.

I am not going to move my Motion to Resolve. We have had a good debate, and I hope we can all go forward in a spirit of some unity to put this House back where it really should be.

Motion not moved.

House adjourned at 8.32 pm.