Scheduling of Parliamentary Business

Part of Bill Presented – in the House of Commons at 5:50 pm on 17th July 2017.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Valerie Vaz Valerie Vaz Shadow Leader of the House of Commons 5:50 pm, 17th July 2017

No. The hon. Lady will get the same answer that Mr Speaker would give—it is up to me to decide whether I give way. I just want to proceed.

Then there is the question of the days allocated for private Members’ Bills: 13 have been allocated up until November 2018—that is 18 months, although the current Session lasts for two years. Why have no Opposition days been allocated? Are the Government scared of the Opposition? No dates have been agreed for Backbench Business debates, despite the diligence of the Opposition in having a Chair of the Backbench Business Committee.

I repeat the Prime Minister’s words: “debate and discussion” are

“the hallmarks of our parliamentary democracy”,

although it seems that her Cabinet are busy trying to push her out. The Government need to know that, for our democracy to thrive, the citizens of this country need to have faith that their MPs will represent their views and not be disfranchised. It is vital for democracy to have debates when required by convention, and for the Opposition to set out what they stand for. The electorate need to see us at work—to see the rhetoric turned into action.