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Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:30 pm on 19th March 2020.

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Photo of Meg Hillier Meg Hillier Chair, Public Accounts Committee 12:30 pm, 19th March 2020

The Leader of the House and others have rightly talked about proper scrutiny of what the Government are doing, as rather highlighted by my hon. Friend Chris Bryant. The Leader of the House was slightly disingenuous, if I may say so, when he talked about the Liaison Committee being delayed by this House. It was actually a power grab by the Government to impose a Chair from outside its membership that has caused the delay. Nevertheless, it is vital that that Committee is up and running, and it could be a hugely useful place for this House, if it had to shrink down its activities, to question Ministers directly and the Prime Minister about actions, especially if we are living under draconian legislation, which is likely to be passed next week. Will the Leader of the House give us some comfort on that issue?

On the point about the motion on Tuesday relating to appointments to the Parliamentary Works Sponsor Body, will we now finally see a group of professionals dealing with the northern estate and making sure that in the midst of this crisis, having had flood and pestilence, we do not see this place burned by fire as well?