Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:18 am on 4th July 2019.

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Photo of Ian Mearns Ian Mearns Chair, Backbench Business Committee 11:18 am, 4th July 2019

The Leader of the House will be delighted to know that, as a result of recent generous allocations of time for the Backbench Business Committee, we have now started to get a bumper bundle of applications from Back Benchers from across the House on a weekly basis. If and when time arrives, we already have a healthy list of debates pencilled in for future dates, including an important application for an urgent debate from Andrea Leadsom and Lucy Powell. We also have a long queue of unallocated debates following applications from Members from across the House, so with three weeks remaining before the summer recess, any time thrown our way will be greedily snapped up.

Finally, I chair the all-party parliamentary rail in the north group, and some of us regard the rail investment situation being more northern poorhouse than northern powerhouse. We recently had a presentation from Arriva Northern, which told us, gladly, that Pacer trains were to be phased out by the end of the year, but we found out only a few days later that that was fake news. Can we have a statement from the Department for Transport about rail investment in the north? It is time that the decades-old Pacer trains departed from all the stations in the north of England.