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 McFall of Alcluith Lord McFall of Alcluith Chair, Freedom of Information Advisory Panel (Lords), Chair, Hybrid Instruments Committee (Lords), Chair, Liaison Committee (Lords), Chair, Committee for Privileges and Conduct (Lords), Chair, Procedure Committee (Lords), Chair, Committee of Selection (Lords), Chair, Standing Orders (Private Bills) Committee (Lords), Chair, Sub-Committee on Leave of Absence, The Senior Deputy Speaker 11:45 am, 28th March 2019

My Lords, I thank all noble Lords for their contributions today. If any Member is exercised by this, it is me, because I am always conscious that from however many submissions there are—be it 27, 35 or whatever—I can select only three, so I leave the vast majority of people disappointed as a result.

The points made have been very constructive. I say to the noble and learned Lord, Lord Hope, and the noble Lord, Lord Foulkes, and others that politics did not come into this in any remote way—I can assure the noble Lord, Lord Campbell-Savours, on that. Indeed, at the end of it, Members may recall that I specifically asked whether everyone had been content with the process, and everyone agreed that they were. The staff do a fantastic job of engaging on this and the members take it very seriously. We are unanimous in our approach.

Reform is important—the noble Lord, Lord Alton, and the noble Baroness, Lady Deech, made that point. I am exercised by that as well. Other members of the committee will be able to tell you of my desire to increase Member engagement. At the moment, we are undertaking a review of committees. It has been extensive to date, but I am happy for it to be more so. I would like there to be not just more Member engagement but more Member submissions. We could achieve that with the review of committees. It is the first review for 25 years. Therefore, we have an obligation not only to understand the environment we are in but to ensure that the reputation of the House of Lords is enhanced. There is no better way of doing that than through the work of our committees. We are at one on that. If the noble Baroness, Lady Deech, the noble Lord, Lord Alton, or any noble Lord wishes to engage with me on that point, I am happy to do so at any time; my door is open.