Business of the House

– in the House of Commons at 8:06 pm on 22 May 2024.

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Photo of Penny Mordaunt Penny Mordaunt Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons 8:06, 22 May 2024

With permission, I will make a short business statement.

Following the announcement by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister, I am sure the House will understand that discussions continue on the business ahead of the Dissolution of this Parliament. With that in mind, tomorrow’s business will include consideration of a business of the House motion, followed by remaining stages of the Finance (No. 2) Bill. The House will then be asked to await any Lords messages. The House will also be asked to agree to sit on Friday 24 May. Subject to the progress of business, Parliament is expected to prorogue on Friday 24 May. I will make a further business statement to update the House tomorrow morning.

Photo of Roger Gale Roger Gale Deputy Speaker and Chairman of Ways and Means, Deputy Speaker

Before we proceed, the Leader of the House has made it plain that she will make a further business statement tomorrow morning. Of course, I will take a contribution from the Opposition spokesperson, but this is a very narrow statement indeed. I do not expect a business questions session after this.

Photo of Lucy Powell Lucy Powell Shadow Leader of the House of Commons

I thank the Leader of the House for that emergency business statement—I think many across the country will thank her too, although I am not sure many on the Government Benches will—that Parliament will be dissolved for a general election. The country has been crying out for change, and this election means that people can finally vote for it. It is a chance to change this chaotic, weak and incompetent Conservative Government, who have crashed our economy, hit working people with sky-high mortgages and left the NHS and public services in crisis. Labour is ready to deliver that change, and change this country for the better.

With Parliament prorogued on Friday, can the Leader of the House tell us which Bills will be brought forward for wash-up this week? There are some Bills that we support that could receive Royal Assent, should the Government choose to do so. With so little time remaining, it seems unlikely that many of their flagship Bills will now become law. What the Leader of the House and her Government seem to be saying today is that the vast majority of the King’s Speech programme will not be realised, including important issues such as the compensation scheme for victims of the infected blood scandal, committed to just this week. I want to reiterate that Labour stands ready to do whatever is necessary to pass the Victims and Prisoners Bill with these important amendments this week. I look forward to what may be our final business questions tomorrow.

Photo of Penny Mordaunt Penny Mordaunt Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons

As the shadow Leader of the House will know, discussions are ongoing through the usual channels. I thank her for her offer of help on these important Bills. Certainly, we would like our legislative programme to get through and if the Opposition were minded to assist us on those important Bills, I am sure that could be achieved.

I will be making a further business statement tomorrow morning. I reassure people who will be affected by, for example, the infected blood issue that we will make that statement, and the sentiments that were expressed at this Dispatch Box earlier this week still stand. I think that all parties want that and other important legislation to get through. The Whips are discussing these matters and I will update the House tomorrow morning. I also look forward to our exchange tomorrow.

Photo of Roger Gale Roger Gale Deputy Speaker and Chairman of Ways and Means, Deputy Speaker

Mr Brine has indicated that he wishes to raise a question that is probably relevant to a number of Members. I will call Mr Brine, but after that I will call these proceedings to a close on the understanding that a statement will be made tomorrow.

Photo of Steve Brine Steve Brine Chair, Health and Social Care Committee, Chair, Health and Social Care Committee

Other than providing time for the Tobacco and Vapes Bill—she knows that matters greatly to me and that there is widespread support for it across the House, including from both Front Benches—does the Leader of the House plan to allow time for Members who are retiring from the House to make “matters to be raised before the Dissolution” speeches?

Photo of Penny Mordaunt Penny Mordaunt Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons

I thank my hon. Friend for raising that matter as it will be a concern to many Members on all sides of the House. The usual channels are aware of hon. Members’ wish to do that and I hope to be able to update the House tomorrow.