Point of Order

– in the House of Commons at 2:51 pm on 21 May 2024.

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Photo of Caroline Lucas Caroline Lucas Green, Brighton, Pavilion 2:51, 21 May 2024

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker, this morning a Home Office-commissioned report from Lord Walney was presented in Parliament using the motion for unopposed return procedure, effectively protecting it from any kind of legal challenge. However, the report reads as a highly political document and includes proposals, for example, for very serious restrictions on civil liberties and human rights. I understand it is not in order for Members to criticise a member of the House of Lords in the Chamber, and Lord Walney’s interests as a paid adviser for the arms and oil industry are registered in the Register of Lords’ Interests. However, could you advise the House on whether, when a report is given legal cover by this House, it would be at least healthy for scrutiny to have an additional requirement for any relevant interest by a report’s author to be specifically flagged to this House as well?

Photo of Eleanor Laing Eleanor Laing Deputy Speaker and Chairman of Ways and Means, Chair, Standing Orders Committee (Commons), Chair, Standing Orders Committee (Commons), Chair, Parliamentary Works Estimates Commission, Chair, Parliamentary Works Estimates Commission

I thank the hon. Lady for her point of order. I can confirm that the effect of this morning’s motion is that the report was published by order of the House. She asks about the financial interests of members of the House of Lords, which of course is not a matter for the Chair of the House of Commons, but I appreciate that she makes a serious and valid point about the way in which the matter has been presented to this House. If she has concerns about the content of the report, I would advise her to discuss with the Table Office how she might pursue the matter further. There are various lines of action open to her.