Business of the House

Part of Attorney General – in the House of Commons at 10:39 am on 21st December 2017.

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Photo of Ian Mearns Ian Mearns Chair, Backbench Business Committee 10:39 am, 21st December 2017

I thank the Leader of the House for the business statement and for advertising the wares of the Backbench Business Committee for the new year, particularly the intention to have a six-hour debate on defence, led by my hon. Friend Vernon Coaker, on the first Thursday back after the recess.

It is Christmas, and we should add to the extended list that we heard from the shadow Leader of the House, my hon. Friend Valerie Vaz. Christmas is a time for forgiveness, so let us extend a warm and merry Christmas to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority. IPSA is indeed the founder of our feast, in a strange sort of way, so let us extend a merry Christmas to its staff at this time of good wishes.

May I extend an invitation to you, Mr Speaker, and to the Leader of the House? Next year, between June and September, Gateshead and Newcastle will be hosting the Great Exhibition of the North. I am delighted to invite you both to visit Gateshead and Newcastle during that period.