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 Bell Ribeiro-Addy Bell Ribeiro-Addy Labour, Streatham 11:11 am, 11th June 2020

As other Members are talking about important anniversaries and dates, I would like to remind the House that today is the 33rd anniversary of black Members being elected to this House. I, for one, am proud to be part of the most diverse Parliament we have ever seen. [Hon. Members: “Hear, hear!”]

I was going to ask about the farcical parliamentary procedure, but something that the Leader of the House said irked me. He did not really respond to the question asked by the shadow Leader of the House, and I would like to associate myself with the remarks of Tommy Sheppard. They asked specifically whether there would be a statement from the Prime Minister on Black Lives Matter and asked for a debate. I would like to take it one step further and say that it is very important for us to have a full debate on this country’s history with slavery and colonialism and the racism that has stemmed from it. No one is born racist. Rather, it is something that we learn. It is very important that this is in our education system. Some of the comments that I have heard give me the view that people do not really understand the mood of the country at the moment. We in this House far too often find ourselves removed from the public mood, so I think it is very important that we have this type of debate. I would like a straight answer from the Leader of the House: will he ask the Prime Minister to make a statement, and will he give us a debate in the House?