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Companies (Strategic Report) (Climate-related Financial Disclosure) Regulations 2021

Volume 816: debated on Monday 6 December 2021

Motion to Approve

Moved by

That the draft Order and Regulations laid before the House on 28 October and 1 November be approved. Considered in Grand Committee on 30 November.

Relevant document: 19th Report from the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee.

My Lords, I exercised the right that all noble Lords have to object to Motions being taken en bloc, not because I object to these two particular Motions being taken en bloc but because I object to the fact that, when the Leader of the House made a business statement earlier today, no other Member of the House was able to ask questions or make any comments. Yet it was a very substantial statement, and some of us wanted to point out that we object to decisions about who should speak virtually and who should speak in the Chamber being taken by a party-political representative—the Leader of the House—rather than by the Speaker. I was not able to make that comment; others wanted to make similar comments. I would like the Deputy Speaker, and anyone else who can, to raise the matter with the Lord Speaker, and I will do so myself. Perhaps the Minister will too. The issue is why there was no opportunity to question the Leader of the House when she made that business statement.

My Lords, I strongly agree with my noble friend. This is not directly the subject of the noble Lord, Lord Callanan, and I do not expect a comprehensive and detailed reply. But I urge him to talk to his ministerial colleagues, particularly to the Leader of the House, and make the point that—as my noble friend has said—a substantial statement was made that nobody could have known about: there is nothing whatever on today’s House of Lords Order of Business to tell us that the Leader of the House would be making a substantial statement. The essence of a sensibly functioning Houses of Parliament is proceedings that are intelligible. How on earth can someone in the Gallery know what is going on when someone gets up from the Bench, and they have not got the faintest idea who she is—I mean no disrespect to the Leader of the House—and makes an important statement, and the House continues as if nothing has happened? That is an unacceptable state of affairs.

I have, over the years, made a very small advance in this respect, if I may bring it up: there never used to be an announcement of the results of a hereditary Peers by-election. After much consideration of this revolutionary proposal, eventually it went up on the monitor and it appeared on the Order Paper that such an announcement would be made. This is probably the easiest question in the Minister’s long experience on the Front Bench, but will he talk to the Leader, so that, perhaps through the usual channels, we can get some intelligibility introduced into these important matters? That is all I have to say.

I thank both noble Lords for their esteemed interest in the Companies (Strategic Report) (Climate-related Financial Disclosure) Regulations 2021. I must have missed their references to this important statutory instrument during their speeches, but I entirely understand the point they are making and, of course, I will convey their views to my noble friend the Leader of the House.

Motion agreed.