Business of the House

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

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Photo of Ian Mearns Ian Mearns Chair, Backbench Business Committee, Chair, Backbench Business Committee 11:11 am, 11th June 2020

Mr Speaker, we have something in common, because you share your birthday with the Duke of Edinburgh, and I share my birthday with Her Majesty the Queen, so we are a match made in heaven.

We anticipate an allocation of time in early July for debates on departmental estimates. I remind Members on both sides of the House that applications for those debate days should be submitted to the Backbench Business Committee by a week tomorrow—19 June.

The tap has been turned on: we have an allocation of time for a Backbench business debate next Thursday on the important issue of coronavirus and its impact on black and minority ethnic communities. However, there is other business that day, and there could be urgent questions or statements, so would the Leader of the House please look at providing a measure of protected time for that debate? It is an important subject, and it would be dreadful if the debate was foreshortened by other business that came up on the day.

Can we arrange a better flow of information from Government sources to local health public health officials about the results of covid-19 tests? Quite often, local public health officials are in the dark as to the whereabouts of someone in their locality who has tested positive through the national testing system, so could we have a better flow of information to local public health officials? That is vital.

Lastly, in his response to the shadow Leader of the House, the Leader of the House did not mention the recess dates. If there is to be a change, Members on both sides of the House would welcome knowing about it sooner rather than later.