Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:16 am on 10th May 2018.

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Photo of Andrea Leadsom Andrea Leadsom Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons 11:16 am, 10th May 2018

First, the hon. Lady asks about progress of Brexit legislation. Third Reading of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill will take place in the other House next week, and then we will bring that Bill back to this place, to look at the amendments. The Government are obviously looking closely at the proposals made in the other House, as we have done with all those made in this House. Other Brexit Bills will be coming forward in due course. There is no hold-up. As all hon. Members will appreciate, very complex negotiations are under way, and it is right that we bring forward these Bills at the appropriate time, as indeed we will do.

The hon. Lady asks about voter ID. Voter ID was successfully tested at the local elections on 3 May in five local authorities, each of which had signed up to it. The data so far and statements by the respective returning officers point towards the pilots successfully testing voter ID and the experience being overwhelmingly positive. It is important to note that it cannot be the case that we have to provide ID to pick up a parcel but not to cast our democratic vote. It is vital that we protect our democracy from potential fraud, and we will obviously look at all lessons learned from that.

The hon. Lady asked about the Home Secretary’s email address. I am not sure that that is within my brief, but if email addresses now come under the remit of the Leader of the House, I am happy to take that up if she writes to me about it.

The hon. Lady asked about statutory instruments that the Opposition have prayed against. It is parliamentary convention that, where a reasonable request for a debate is made, time will be allowed for a debate, and in line with that, the Government have sought to accommodate reasonable requests from the Opposition. There have been a couple of debates on statutory instruments only this week, and more Government time has been given for debates on statutory instruments prayed against by the Opposition than at any time since 1997. I hope she will acknowledge that the Government are doing everything they can to accommodate Opposition views.

The hon. Lady asked about the issue of racism in Pendle. I am horrified to hear that story, and I certainly share her absolute rejection of any form of racism. As I understand it, direct action was taken—suspension, training, apologies and so on—but I am not completely aware of the situation. I am sure she will acknowledge that if people who do something in very bad taste have received their punishment, they should be capable of being reinstated. I am not sure of the case, but like her, I utterly reject any form of racism.

Finally, the hon. Lady asked about restoration and renewal. We have a House of Commons Commission meeting on Monday evening, where there will be further discussions. I am always happy to update the House, and perhaps we can discuss how we can facilitate that.