Business of the House - Motion on Standing Orders

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:50 pm on 8 February 2023.

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Photo of Lord True Lord True Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal 3:50, 8 February 2023

I know that this is a matter of concern to your Lordships. My noble friend Lady Williams of Trafford and I acknowledge the strong feeling across the House on the need to progress debates on Select Committee reports. We have already made good progress this Session; 28 reports have been debated and a further two are due for debate tomorrow. This puts us on track for well over the recent norm of around 30 debates in a 12-month Session.

This has gone a long way towards reducing the overall backlog. Currently, I think there are only 10 reports —I do not have the information to hand—for which debates are still to be scheduled. Only two of those are from 2021. We have also already had more debates in the Chamber. Last Session, only about a third of debates on Select Committee reports were in the Chamber; this Session, we have already debated 18 reports in the Chamber, representing around 65% of the total number.

There is never perfection, but these debates on our Select Committee reports are of inestimable importance to the House. I hope that noble Lords will feel that this and the announcement I have made today demonstrate the earnestness with which we in the usual channels attach importance to enabling your Lordships’ voice to be heard. I thank most earnestly the usual channels for their agreement to this and their support.