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Speaker's statement

Volume 699: debated on Wednesday 18 August 2021

Before we start today’s business, I want to welcome Members back, albeit in sombre circumstances. On behalf of the whole House, I want to record our shock and sadness at the tragic incident in Keyham last Thursday. I know all Members will want to join me in sending our condolences and sympathies to all those who have been affected by that terrible incident.

I know that the House will also want to remember, on this day when we are here to discuss the situation in Afghanistan, all the service personnel of this country who have lost their lives or have been injured during this conflict. I know that there is no constituency that has not been touched, none more so than Chorley, which saw two serving personnel tragically lose their lives. We all have reason to be here.

I wish to remind the House that the provisions which allowed for hybrid participation in the Chamber are no longer in place. All contributions to proceedings will once again be made from within this Chamber. I remind Members that if they participate in a debate, they should be present throughout most if not all of that debate, and certainly at least for the opening speeches, the two speeches following their contributions and the winding-up speeches.

If the House divides today, Members should enter both Lobbies from the Members’ Lobby end of the Chamber. Doorkeepers will be on hand to assist Members participating in the Division. I will instruct that the doors be locked 10 minutes after the start of the Division.

I would also like to say thank you to all the staff of the House who have made today possible for giving up their time, breaking their holidays, to ensure that this important debate goes ahead.