Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:31 pm on 20th February 1992.

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Photo of Mr Bob Cryer Mr Bob Cryer , Bradford South 3:31 pm, 20th February 1992

A week on Monday there will be a debate on the report by the Select Committee on Sittings of the House. Would the Leader of the House consider making a change so that we might debate facilities in the House for disabled people? I remind him that last summer I brought a group of blind students from Temple Bank school for the visually handicapped in Bradford to the House. There is nowhere for them to sit and nowhere for them to have a meal, so they had to walk out, leading each other to a nearby park to have something to eat. At the same time, the private dining rooms were full of corporate hospitality, with Members wining and dining chums and using the facilities there. Those dining room bookings are not published, to maintain a cloak of secrecy.

Could we have a debate on such facilities, coupled with a debate on the report by the Select Committee on Members' Interests on the lobbying organisations which book dining rooms through Members? That report has been in the hands of the Leader of the House for two or three months, yet the report which proposes that our sitting hours should be cut and looks after the selfish interests of Members of Parliament is to be given priority. That is completely wrong.