Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:11 am on 9th January 2020.

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Photo of Jacob Rees-Mogg Jacob Rees-Mogg Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons 11:11 am, 9th January 2020

I congratulate the hon. Gentleman on his first outing in holding this Government to account and bringing on the fast bowling to start with.

The Brexit Bill started us off, so even before the Queen’s Speech we passed a major piece of legislation, but that does not keep the hon. Gentleman happy; what more can we do?

As I have said, we hope to announce the reorganisation of government today: the share-out of Select Committees begins the process, the Chairmen will then be elected and Committees will be established, and they will be adjusted if there are any changes. This is all perfectly normal. There will be regular statements and oral questions continue. That is all in place; it is there, and it is for the hon. Gentleman to use it.

On the hon. Gentleman’s first go, I do not want to be unkind and point out that, as I said in my statement, we will be debating foreign affairs on Monday. That will be an opportunity to discuss all matters relating to Iran, so I am granting his wish almost immediately after standing up. We also had a statement from my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence earlier in the week.

On the consequences of the election, the hon. Gentleman says that we may become a recruiting sergeant for the SNP, which makes me wonder what he is complaining about. If that is what he thinks we are doing, I would have thought he would be quite pleased. What I would say is that he and other SNP Members must not forget that there was a rather important election in 2014, and it was won by people who wanted to remain in the United Kingdom. There is not the division that he talks of. The United Kingdom is united, and that was what the people of Scotland voted for in their wisdom and good sense.