Queen’s Speech - Debate (4th Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 10:17 pm on 27th June 2017.

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Photo of Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Northern Ireland Office), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government 10:17 pm, 27th June 2017

My Lords, I thank the noble Lord, Lord Beecham, for the build-up. I undertake that I will write fully on all the points raised in a very wide-ranging debate. I think that noble Lords will appreciate that I do not necessarily have all the facts at my fingertips, nor necessarily all the time, after 66 excellent contributions—well, 67, but I do not have to write to my noble friend Lady Williams; but I have to take account of what the other 66 noble Lords have said. I also wish the noble Lord, Lord Hope, a happy birthday. I congratulate the noble Lord, Lord Beecham. He referred tangentially to his 50 years as a councillor, which I think occurred during the election campaign. He must have been very young when he first took office. I am sure that we all wish him much more service both there and here. I also congratulate the noble Lord, Lord Scriven, on his marriage on behalf of the House—that is very good news—and wish the noble Lord, Lord Laird, all the best and thank him for coming today after two years’ absence; it is much appreciated.

It is a great pleasure to close such a wide-ranging debate on a number of topics that are very close to my heart. I am extremely grateful to noble Lords who have contributed, sharing their past experience and reflections on issues close to their own hearts. I say in opening, perhaps by way of reassurance, that there seems to be an assumption that this Parliament will be only two years long. It is not; it is five years long, so there will be many opportunities for some of the legislative adventures being suggested.