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Arrangement of Business

Volume 815: debated on Monday 18 October 2021


My Lords, before we proceed to the Motion in the name of the Senior Deputy Speaker, it might be helpful to the House if I say a few words about the proceedings for the remainder of this afternoon. After the Motions in my name and that of the noble Lord, Lord Gardiner of Kimble, the House will adjourn during pleasure until 4 pm. This is to allow tributes to Sir David Amess to begin in the House of Commons and for the Prime Minister and leader of the Opposition to speak in the other place. The House will then resume for tributes to Sir David.

There is no speakers’ list, and any Member may speak from the Chamber. Arrangements have been made to allow those who are permitted to participate virtually to do so. There are three virtual speakers, and they will come after the most reverend Primate has spoken on behalf of the Lords spiritual. Tributes will last until 5.20 pm. The House will then adjourn until 2.30 pm tomorrow, and there will be no further business today.

At 6 pm, there will be a service of prayers and remembrance for Sir David at St Margaret’s Church. The Lord Speaker will lead from the Chamber to the church at 5.30 pm, after the House adjourns at 5.20 pm, so noble Lords who are attending the service in St Margaret’s should be ready to move from the Chamber by 5.30 pm.

St Margaret’s has limited capacity, and preference is rightly being given to Members of the House of Commons. There are limited places for Members of this House to attend. I am sure noble Lords appreciate the reason for this and, on behalf of the usual channels, I ask that only those noble Lords who knew Sir David best seek to attend the service this evening. For those going to the service, St Margaret’s has requested that face coverings are worn in the church and that those attending take a Covid test. Tests are available now in the Bishops’ Bar and in the atrium in Portcullis House. The Chapel of St Mary Undercroft remains open for private prayer and reflection, and a condolence book is available in the Royal Gallery.

The main business that was due to take place this afternoon—namely, the second day of Report of the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill—will now be taken on Thursday.