That, as proposed by the Committee of Selection, the following members be appointed to the panel of members to act as Deputy Chairmen of Committees for this session:
Barker, B.; Caine, L.; Healy of Primrose Hill, B.; Watkins of Tavistock, B.
My Lords, I beg to move the first Motion standing in my name on the Order Paper.
My Lords, unsurprisingly, I welcome strongly the Motion that has just been moved but, slightly cheekily, because it is about Deputy Speakers, I shall echo what the Lord Speaker said earlier today. He paid tribute, absolutely rightly, to all the people who have enabled us over these really trying few months to carry on working in this Chamber and remotely, ensuring that Parliament could continue to do its work.
From these Benches, which may be a bit empty at the moment, I would like to record our thanks to all those people, seen and unseen, who have made all this possible as we enter the holidays. I said to someone as I was coming in that I was clocking off the hours until I went on my holiday; he looked to me and said, “Not half as much as me, my Lady”. Can we record our thanks to them—to the seen, who we have here with us, and the unseen? The cleaners have had to do different work from what they have done before; Hansard, with occasional sound issues, has been trying to work out what we were trying to say; the catering staff have had to protect themselves and travel by public transport. There has been the most enormous amount of work. I have got to know a whole lot of broadcasting staff while at home; they have even occasionally told me whether my hair was straight before I came on.
It has been a varied and enormous amount of work. We should not take any of it for granted, so of course I support this Motion. I wish luck to the new Deputy Speakers who we are now to appoint, as well as thanking all those who have got us here.
My Lords, unless any other noble Lord wishes to speak, I call the Senior Deputy Speaker to reply.
My Lords, I echo the sentiments of the noble Baroness, and of the Lord Speaker this afternoon, about the tremendous commitment, endeavour and efforts of all staff of the House. They have done us proud in the past four or five months and I am glad to ensure that these sentiments are fed back to them.