Point of Order

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:38 pm on 23rd September 2020.

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Photo of Wendy Chamberlain Wendy Chamberlain Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Wales), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Scotland), Liberal Democrat Chief Whip, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Work and Pensions) 2:38 pm, 23rd September 2020

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. We were informed yesterday that the Paymaster General’s calls are set to resume. Members will remember that those calls were used earlier this year, while the House was not sitting due to the coronavirus pandemic. Many Members were very concerned by the lack of opportunity for scrutiny during that period, and that concern is ongoing. I am still struggling, as I know other hon. Members are, to get a response from Ministers from many Departments, including the Treasury, and I am concerned about what the resumption of these calls implies. I am sure that Members from across the House will agree that any resumption of the calls must be in addition to existing scrutiny, rather than a substitute that allows Ministers to be required to come before the House less frequently.

Madam Deputy Speaker, I should be grateful if you would offer guidance on how best to seek assurances from the Government that they are committed to parliamentary scrutiny, and that the resumption of these calls does not herald new limitations on the mechanisms available to Members of the House to hold Governments to account.