Scheduling of Parliamentary Business

Part of Bill Presented – in the House of Commons at 6:01 pm on 17th July 2017.

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Photo of Andrea Leadsom Andrea Leadsom Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons 6:01 pm, 17th July 2017

I am pleased to have the opportunity to speak in this debate. I know that you, Mr Speaker, have granted it with your usual focus on ensuring that Back-Bench voices can always been heard and on handling the creative tension between Back Benchers and the Government’s right to schedule their own business. I am sure the temptation to be a bit teary after the example of centre court yesterday will never overtake you, but we are all grateful to you for granting this debate.

The debate gives me the chance to say that the business brought to this House since the general election is quite simply business as usual. As the House would expect, I will expand on that. As always happens after a general election, the House is getting itself in order so that the business can run smoothly.

Many important debates have already taken place. Last week, we had a vital debate on the Grenfell inquiry. Many powerful points were raised by Members on both sides of the House. It is right that we prioritised giving time to such a catastrophic and tragic event. This week, we are having a general debate on what more can be done to eradicate the evil of drug misuse. Today we are scheduled to have a debate on the intimidation and abuse of candidates in the general election—abuse that challenges the very heart of our democratic process—but it is now under threat because of this debate.

Those, to me, seem perfect examples of our parliamentary democracy working well, with lots of opportunities for debate. The Opposition would do well to explain to the House which of those debates they consider to be unimportant to the millions in the country who are relying on us to improve their lives.