Points of Order

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:42 pm on 9th March 2022.

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Photo of Bob Seely Bob Seely Conservative, Isle of Wight 2:42 pm, 9th March 2022

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. I have two points of order, and it may be that you will be good enough to hear one or both of them. The first pertains to how we treat Members of the House of Lords, and I ask this in genuine good faith. There are Members of the House of Lords who may have engaged in ethically questionable practices in relation to work, lobbying or otherwise, for the Russian state or its proxies, formal and informal. We are not—perhaps for good reason, perhaps not—allowed to name those Members of the House of Lords during a debate on, for example, lawfare, lobbying or enabling, and to do so requires some kind of special motion.

In addition, Lords can take leave of absence, which can be open ended. They are allowed to use the Lords facilities and even stationery. They cannot vote, but they then do not have to register their outside interests. That strikes me as being contrary to natural justice and democratic transparency, because we cannot name important players that may be influencing politics, or working for Russian proxies, formally or informally. I would like a ruling from the Chair as to what we can do to enable their participation in a potentially very important part of our national debate.