Arrangement of Business — Announcement

– in the House of Lords at 6:51 pm on 2nd July 2014.

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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) 6:51 pm, 2nd July 2014

My Lords, we have reached an unusual moment, as those taking part in the Bill proceedings this afternoon have been so succinct in their presentations and their responses that we have already reached the Question for Short Debate. Participants would normally expect that we would not begin this business until 7.30 pm. We have made strenuous efforts to contact those involved, and I see that the shadow Minister is in his place very promptly, and that the Minister is here as well. However, I regret to say that my latest understanding is that the owner of the Question for Short Debate, my noble friend Lord Ribeiro, is stuck on an Underground train. Despite my looking round rather nervously to either side, I still do not see any sign of him.

It is a most unusual circumstance but I cannot adjourn the House pending an arrival, simply because we cannot predict when that might be. If we had information about an arrival we might do so, with the agreement of the House, but I am not in a position to ask the House to do that. Therefore, with great apologies to those who are expecting to take part in the Question for Short Debate, it will not take place today. It will have to be—ah, my noble friend arrives. Phew and double phew! My noble friend Lord Ribeiro is clearly a Peer who is going to go far. The Question for Short Debate will now go ahead. As it is last business, it will have an hour and a half, not just an hour. This has no impact for the Minister, whose time remains at 12 minutes. The time limit for all other participants becomes 10 minutes.