Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:33 am on 25th January 2018.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Andrea Leadsom Andrea Leadsom Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons 10:33 am, 25th January 2018

I cannot possibly hope to emulate that brilliant portrayal of Robbie Burns, and we heard some of his finest words. What I can say to the hon. Gentleman, in the context of his urging me to be brave, is that, when I was growing up, my wonderful step-dad, who is himself a Scot, would always say, if we were sitting around, “This’ll no get the bairn a jeely piece.” I hope that is adequate as a slight rejoinder. I will not be sitting around, because we obviously want the jeely pieces.

The hon. Gentleman is right to raise the issue of restoration and renewal. We do need to make a decision, and I sincerely look forward, as I know he does, to the debate next week.

The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right to raise again the issue of the Presidents Club. It is utterly unacceptable that this kind of thing still goes on—it is actually beyond belief. My right hon. Friend the Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills, who answered the urgent question, said yesterday that she was astonished to hear that this kind of thing is still happening. How ridiculous is it that anyone thinks that this is appropriate? I pay tribute to the hon. Gentleman’s excellent efforts on the working group that I chair on behalf of the Prime Minister, which is looking into bullying and harassment in this place. He really has been a stalwart champion of getting this work done, as have other members of the SNP, and I am very grateful to them for that.

Finally, we will just have to agree to disagree about the other place. In my view, as you know, Mr Speaker, its Members play a very important revising role, for which we are grateful, and they have expertise that we in this House benefit from.