Sittings of the House (Wednesday 17 April)

Part of Business of the House – in the House of Commons at 8:34 pm on 16th April 2013.

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Photo of Simon Hughes Simon Hughes Deputy Leader, Liberal Democrats 8:34 pm, 16th April 2013

On behalf of my Liberal Democrat colleagues, I support fully the sentiments expressed by the Leader of the House and the shadow Leader of the House.

Whatever our views about Baroness Thatcher and her policies, it is entirely appropriate that tomorrow the nation does not have Parliament sitting at the same time as an important national funeral. It would also be entirely inappropriate to have a funeral in the morning and for Parliament to come back immediately into a confrontation at the highest level, not least as it would involve the Prime Minister, who follows Baroness Thatcher as leader of the Conservative party.

I would have thought it was in tune with the wishes of every democrat that we will sit tomorrow. Indeed, there is no proposal that we do not sit. Parliament will go on and will do contentious business, as is entirely appropriate, in considering the Finance Bill. I deduce from what the Leader of the House said that there will be Prime Minister’s questions next week and that the people who won the ballot for this week will ask their questions. I hope that that will happen next week as planned.

There will be other times to discuss the other arrangements for tomorrow and the Thatcher legacy, but it is right that we pause in the morning for those who want to pay their respects and continue our business without massive confrontation at 2.30 tomorrow.