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Arrangement of Business

Volume 803: debated on Thursday 23 April 2020


The Announcement was made in a Virtual Proceeding via video call.

My Lords, this is an important day. Today, all our proceedings in the House of Lords will be conducted digitally. This is the first time in either House that this has been done. We will start with Questions to Ministers. Those will be followed by a Private Notice Question from the noble Baroness, Lady Smith of Basildon. We will then have two debates and, finally, a Ministerial Statement on Covid-19.

Virtual Proceedings of the House will now begin. I remind Members that these proceedings are subject to parliamentary privilege and that what we say is available to the public both in Hansard and to those listening. I remind participating Members that their microphones will be set to mute and that they should unmute their microphones shortly before we reach their place in the speakers’ list. Members are asked not to use the group chat function.

The Virtual Proceedings on Oral Questions will basically involve the following. I will call each Oral Question in the normal way. I will then call the Minister to make the initial response, and then the noble Lord who asked the original Question to ask their supplementary question in the usual way. The Minister will again respond, and I will then call in turn those noble Lords asking supplementary questions as listed on the speakers’ list. Please ensure that questions and answers are short. I apologise in advance if it is not possible for everyone to be called. Noble Lords should ensure that they unmute their microphone prior to asking their supplementary question. Microphones will be returned to mute when they have finished speaking. In accordance with guidance agreed by the Procedure Committee, if a noble Lord’s name is not listed, I fear that it will not be possible for them to ask a supplementary question or to take part in these proceedings.