Liaison Committee Report - Motion to Agree

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 11:45 am on 28th March 2019.

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Photo of Lord Foulkes of Cumnock Lord Foulkes of Cumnock Labour 11:45 am, 28th March 2019

My Lords, it may not have escaped the notice of some Members of this House that I can be awkward from time to time. I am a member of the Liaison Committee and I ask some awkward questions sometimes, as I am sure the noble and learned Lord, Lord Hope, can confirm. However, I think that the Senior Deputy Speaker has conducted this whole exercise in an impeccable way, has always been willing to look at changes, and I am sure will be willing to consider the suggestion from the noble Lord, Lord Alton. I certainly want to look at it. We changed the system this year to allow wider consideration and more input from Members. The staff carried out a very detailed scoping exercise in a very professional and fair way to make reports to us.

My noble friend Lord Campbell-Savours knows that I, personally, support his proposal. However, the committee had 27 different proposals and they were all very good, including that from the noble Lord, Lord Alton. My noble friend Lord Williams also put forward a good proposal, which I supported. At the end of the day, we had to come down on three on them and it was a very difficult decision. If my noble friend Lord Campbell-Savours puts his proposal forward again next year, I will again support it. But I hope that he and others will understand that this is not an easy exercise and accept a view from a member of the awkward squad: that a member of the establishment, namely the Senior Deputy Speaker, did a very difficult job in an exemplary manner on this occasion.