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Arrangement of Business

Volume 821: debated on Thursday 28 April 2022

Announcement of Prorogation

My Lords, on behalf of the Leader and myself, I take this opportunity to thank all noble Lords across the House for their work, especially this week, to conclude consideration of important Bills. I also thank the usual channels for their efforts and collaboration to make sure that, despite our policy differences, the business ran smoothly during what has been a complicated and challenging week.

Most importantly, I thank the staff of the House, who have across the last 11 months supported some very late—and some very early—sittings. As Members, we rely on a huge variety of people to make sure that the House is kept running. While it is always invidious to name specific people, particular thanks this week must go to the Public Bill Office, officials in the Government Whips’ Office and the opposition offices for juggling six Bills, pinging and ponging between the two Houses. Also, for very different reasons, I thank the catering teams for their service well into the night and the clerks and doorkeepers who stay patiently for as long as we do. I think I speak for the whole House in thanking them and all others without whose hard work and dedication the House could not function as it does. I hope they and all noble Lords have a restful Prorogation ahead of the start of the new Session. I beg to move that the House do adjourn during pleasure until Prorogation at 12.20 pm.

My Lords, I join the noble Lord in thanking everyone for their contribution in this Session. This House does an important job in providing scrutiny and challenge to the Government—and solutions, where they are prepared to listen to them. We all need to look carefully and play our part to ensure that our processes and procedures are followed properly at each stage of business when we return in the next Session. I urge the Government that very controversial Bills are not all backloaded in the next Session and are spread out more evenly across it. That would enable much better scrutiny and avoid all these late nights.

Finally, I join the noble Lord in paying tribute to the staff of the House in this Session. We should remember that, when we are in our Recess, they will still be here getting the House ready for the new Session and State Opening of Parliament on 10 May. I wish all Members here a happy, pleasant and joyful Recess. When we return in the new Session, we will take up those challenges again.

Sitting suspended.