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Arrangement of Business

Volume 831: debated on Wednesday 12 July 2023



Moved by

My Lords, I beg to move that the House now take a short adjournment during pleasure, resuming at a time to be notified on the Annunciator.

Some Lords objected to the Motion, so it was not agreed.

I will put that Question again. As many as are of that opinion will say “Content”; to the contrary “Not content”.

Some Lords objected to the Motion, so it was not agreed.

I am not sure that the House wishes this matter to be decided by a Division, but I have no alternative if that is persisted.

I understand the desire of the House to get on with the business. I get that, but the problem may be that we have not got any papers yet, so we will have to have a short adjournment to get those ready.

No, they are not all ready, sadly. We have yet to get the Marshalled List produced. We need to get some papers produced so, on this occasion, I support the government Whip in moving a short adjournment. But having heard the House, I would say that it should be a short adjournment to get these papers printed.

My Lords, may I move an alternative motion, which is that this House do now adjourn and recommence at 11 am tomorrow? I am holding in my hand the papers—not yet the complete papers—and there are 23 Motions, lettered A to Y. I got this, still warm from the printer, about 15 or 20 minutes ago and I put it on the record for Hansard that it is now 7.45 pm. We have just been talking about the issue of discrimination and access, and everyone being able fully to participate in this debate. We are supposed to be the mother of all Parliaments. We cannot reasonably have a proper debate on an absolutely crucial Bill, which the world is watching, starting at some time presumably after 8 pm and going into the early hours. This is no way to run a country and I put it to your Lordships that we should now adjourn and come back and do this properly.

I am going to take it that the view of the House, so far as I can establish it, is that we do now adjourn. I see no more participants in the debate—sorry, the Chief Whip wishes to speak.

Perhaps I could have a word. It is 7.45 pm and a lot of amendments were tabled very late on, towards 1 pm. There has been much discussion. I asked the Clerk of the Parliaments why there was a delay; it was because there was discussion of the amendments with those who proposed them. Yes, it is 7.45 pm and I suggest that we keep going. My Front Bench is certainly happy to keep going.

In my experience, this is normal for ping-pong and I am not going to be told what to do by the Greens.

We have heard from a number of Members. I certainly want us to adjourn briefly—I stress briefly—and then come back to decide these issues.

What time is the noble Lord suggesting might be brief? To be honest, we should be having a usual channels discussion but would half an hour suit the noble Lord?

The occupant of the Woolsack has not been provided with the papers for the session to resume immediately if we do not adjourn. It is not in the interests of the House for that to happen.

My Lords, may I suggest that we adjourn during pleasure until we receive the Marshalled List? Ah—we have it, okay. Would the noble Baroness like to withdraw her proposal?

With extreme reluctance, as I think the world is watching and I invite the House to consider what message the world is getting from the way we are supposedly doing democracy, I withdraw it.

Sitting suspended.