Motion A1 (as an amendment to Motion A)

Part of Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill - Commons Reason – in the House of Lords at 5:00 pm on 21 March 2023.

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Photo of Earl Howe Earl Howe Deputy Leader of the House of Lords 5:00, 21 March 2023

My Lords, there is little more for me to say, other than to thank noble Lords for their contributions to this debate and for the way in which, amid many doubts and hesitations, Members of the House have been willing to look for compromise and common ground on what I know has proved a difficult set of issues.

I thank in particular the noble Lord, Lord Grabiner, especially for his positive comments and remarks on the role of the regulator, as well as my noble friend Lord Lucas, the noble Lord, Lord Triesman, and, for his words about the need for us all to look for consensus, the noble Lord, Lord Collins.

I simply say to the noble Lord, Lord Wallace, that I too instinctively fight shy of the suggestion that Governments should unduly interfere with the workings of our universities. However, some of his remarks suggested to me that he does not accept that there is a serious problem to be addressed. If that is his view, I believe that he is in a minority in this House.