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House of Commons Hansard
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Business without Debate
15 March 2019
Volume 656

COASTAL PATH (DEFINITION) BILL

Motion made, That the Bill be now read a Second time.

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Object.

Bill to be read a Second time on Friday 5 April.

ACCESS TO FERTILITY SERVICES BILL

Motion made, That the Bill be now read a Second time.

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Object.

Bill to be read a Second time on Friday 22 March.

VOTER REGISTRATION (NO. 2) BILL

Motion made, That the Bill be now read a Second time.

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Object.

Bill to be read a Second time on Friday 5 April.

HOSPITAL (PARKING CHARGES AND BUSINESS RATES) BILL

Motion made, That the Bill be now read a Second time.

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Object.

Bill to be read a Second time on Friday 5 April.

DRONE (REGULATION) (NO. 2) BILL

Motion made, That the Bill be now read a Second time.

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Object.

Bill to be read a Second time on Friday 22 March.

KEW GARDENS (LEASES) (NO. 2) BILL

Motion made, That the Bill be now read a Second time.

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Object.

Bill to be read a Second time on Friday 22 March.

CREDITWORTHINESS ASSESSMENT BILL [LORDS]

Motion made, That the Bill be now read a Second time.

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Object.

Bill to be read a Second time on Friday 22 March.

ACCESS TO WELFARE (TERMINAL ILLNESS DEFINITION) BILL

Motion made, That the Bill be now read a Second time.

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Object.

Bill to be read a Second time on Friday 22 March.

FORENSIC SCIENCE REGULATOR BILL

Motion made, That the Bill be now read a Second time.

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Object.

Bill to be read a Second time on Friday 22 March.

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On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. All this week, this House has done nothing but debate Brexit. Children and young people are today protesting about what they perceive to be a lack of action on climate change. That strikes at the heart of a Parliament that too many people feel is not able to make progress on Bills and issues that will make a big difference to their lives. We have just seen Bills objected to and stopped that could have made a difference to people’s lives. My Bill, which could help 15 million renters to get a better credit score by having their rent included, has just been objected to. Can you advise me on how we can reform private Members’ Bills day, so that this House can actually allow Members to do what they were elected to do, which is change people’s lives for the better?

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I thank the right hon. Lady for her point of order, which is very reasonable. Her observations are shared across the House by a great many Members. I must point out as a matter of fact that today we have passed three important Bills in this Chamber. In my observations from the Chair, I feel very strongly that it is extremely unfortunate that the perception of business in this Chamber and the work of Members of Parliament is wrongly coloured by descriptions in the press that all we do is talk about one particular issue. Every elected Member knows that there is an enormous amount of work going on on behalf of our constituents, both behind the scenes and in this Chamber.

I repeat that this very day three pieces of legislation have come into being which will make an actual difference to the lives of many, many people and many communities. I do not, however, negate the point the right hon. Lady makes. I know that the Chairman of the Procedure Committee is well aware of the background description she has given the House, and that he is looking at these matters.

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Further to that point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. As a member of the Procedure Committee, I confirm that that is exactly what is happening: the Procedure Committee is looking into this issue. I sympathise with what my right hon. Friend the Member for Putney (Justine Greening) said about so many days in this House having been wasted—not in the last week, but in previous weeks, when the House rose early and important Bills could have been discussed. We know that where there is a will, there is a way and that on two occasions during this Session, the Government have taken on Bills that they regard as important from private Members’ business. The Government have adopted those Bills and enabled them to get on to the statute book, so I urge my right hon. Friend to make her representations to the Government, because they have oodles of time on their hands and could easily take over her Bill and ensure that it reaches the statute book in the way that she wishes.

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The hon. Gentleman has made his point, which requires no further clarification from me.

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Further to that point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. I should inform the House that I did indeed speak personally with the Prime Minister to get Government support for this Bill. That was a couple of weeks ago and I have not heard anything further since.

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The right hon. Lady has made her point very forcefully. I say only to the hon. Member for Christchurch (Sir Christopher Chope) and members of the Procedure Committee that, of course, one person’s waste of time is another person’s really important argument, but that is the very stuff of democracy and that is what we are here for. It would be surprising if everyone agreed all the time.