Amendment to the Motion

Part of Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee - Membership Motion – in the House of Lords at 4:00 pm on 31st January 2023.

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Photo of Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts Chair, Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee, Chair, Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee 4:00 pm, 31st January 2023

I am grateful to everyone who has participated and made their views known. I am grateful to the members of the committee who have spoken out, to the noble Baroness, Lady Parminter, from another committee, and to the noble Lord, Lord Hutton, for his powerful analysis of the situation that we now find ourselves in.

I have to say to my noble friend Lord Forsyth—he was combative as ever and I would expect no less—that, with great respect, the treadmill nature of the work of the SLSC actually puts it in a different category from many of the committees that he was talking about. He talked about finding ways to fill casual vacancies but we are not trying to find a few; we are having seven out of 11 every third year. This is not a casual exercise but a complete bouleversement every third year, including the chairman. As the noble Lord, Lord Hunt of Kings Heath, pointed out, there is a perfectly sensible way forward, which we have tried to explain in our amendment.

Again, if I may shoot this fox, we are saying nothing about the people who are coming forward. I do not want the noble Lord, Lord Kennedy, or the Senior Deputy Speaker, to get away with the idea that we are trying to undermine the quality of the people who are coming in. I want to be clear about that.

Before I close, I want to ask the Senior Deputy Speaker a question. Next week, my noble friend Lord Hunt could come along and say, “We have sorted it out; two people who will be appointed today are going to leave in a year from now”. Could he do that, and could we be certain that the Committee of Selection would allow it? It seems to be a cockeyed system, but it would provide a partial answer to the point we are making.