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Business of the House

Volume 796: debated on Thursday 14 March 2019

Motion on Standing Orders

Moved by

That Standing Order 46 (No two stages of a Bill to be taken on one day) be dispensed with on Tuesday 19 March to allow the Northern Ireland (Regional Rates and Energy) (No. 2) Bill to be taken through its remaining stages that day.

My Lords, although I understand the need for this Bill to deal with the renewable energy scandal in the main, can the noble Baroness the Leader of the House give an assurance that a much more pressing Bill will be brought forward, favoured by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and the Minister —the noble Lord, Lord Duncan of Springbank—to deal with the problem of pensions for the severely injured? The WAVE trauma group represents nearly 500 people in a desperate situation. I am looking here at the case of Alex, the victim of a terrorist attack, who has had a fourth stump reduction following his amputation 30 years ago. Will she raise this in Cabinet, and with the Prime Minister, to try and get them the pensions for which this House, on a cross-party basis, has asked the Government?

My Lords, while the Leader of the House is dealing with business, will she confirm that, whichever Minister is speaking from the Dispatch Box in the House of Lords, they are answering on behalf of the whole Government, not one particular department? If a Member of this House asks a Question about, for example, non-disclosure agreements across Government, the Minister should answer right across Government, not just for his department.

My Lords, this may be helpful to the noble Baroness when she is answering questions. My noble friend Lord Hain made a pertinent and important point. Does she accept that if we did not spend so much time on legislation for a no-deal Brexit—which has been ruled out by both Houses —we would have time for these other crucial issues?

My Lords, I am sorry to hear of the example which the noble Lord gave. It sounds as if he has also spoken to my noble friend Lord Duncan about these issues. I can assure him that they are taken seriously and will take back his comments. I believe that my Front Bench speaks extremely well for the whole Government from this Dispatch Box.

Motion agreed.