European Union Bill — Order of Consideration Motion

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:37 pm on 30th March 2011.

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Photo of Baroness Anelay of St Johns Baroness Anelay of St Johns Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords), Deputy Chairman of Committees, Deputy Speaker (Lords) 3:37 pm, 30th March 2011

My Lords, the noble Lord, Lord Tomlinson, raises a very pertinent matter. Naturally, when the scheduling of business is carried out in negotiation with Her Majesty's Opposition, all matters are taken into account, including the availability of Front-Bench spokesmen and the interests of the House itself. The noble Lord has raised a matter of which, of course, the usual channels are aware, and they are taking urgent action to resolve it. As the noble Lord, Lord Tomlinson, has indicated, it is important that all those in this House who have an interest in the Bill and who have expertise in such matters should have a full opportunity to participate in it. I assure the noble Lord that we are taking urgent measures, in negotiation with the Deputy Chairman of Committees, to ensure that his concerns are addressed.

My noble friend Lord Waddington raised the matter of the behaviour of Members of the House. I have had representations from all quarters of the House. Noble Lords expressed concern about the asperity not of speech but perhaps of manner on the occasion of the Second Reading of the European Union Bill. This is a matter that all Members of the House will care about. Members have also expressed wider concerns about the normal behaviour in the House. Discussions will proceed, and I know that all Members have at the core of their being a devotion to the House of Lords and to its continuance as an important place within Parliament.