Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:45 am on 1st October 2020.

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Photo of Ian Mearns Ian Mearns Chair, Backbench Business Committee, Chair, Backbench Business Committee 11:45 am, 1st October 2020

I thank Mr Speaker, his team, House authorities and staff for their combined efforts to support the reopening of Westminster Hall. We have some debates already lined up for Westminster Hall: on Thursday 8 October, a debate on obesity and the effect of covid-19 on those living with obesity, and a second debate on mental health support for frontline staff; on Tuesday 13 October, a debate on the introduction of a universal basic income; and on Thursday 15 October, a debate on a disability-inclusive response to the covid-19, and a second debate on massacres in Sudan and the United Kingdom’s support for Sudan’s democratic transition.

We do not have Backbench Business time in the Chamber on 15 October; the Government have taken that day. If we get time in the Chamber on 22 October, we have a long-overdue application for a debate on errors and underpayments in the Equitable Life scandal and an important application for a debate to celebrate Black History Month, which would be very timely and welcome across the House. We do not yet have a slot for a debate on Baby Loss Awareness Week, so should Government business look like it will run short at any time, that debate could perhaps be held then.

We might need to put the record straight on something. In answer to a question from myself and my hon. Friend Chi Onwurah, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care earlier mentioned additional financial support of £10 million for LA7 north-east councils. The leader of my local authority in Gateshead is totally unaware of any additional financial support for businesses given to local authorities in north-east England. That is what we were asking for—additional financial support for businesses.