Before we begin, I have a few points that we always make. First, please put your devices on silent. Secondly—a rule that I never understand—you cannot have tea or coffee in here, on the grounds that they are supposed to be hot drinks. I would argue that it will have gone cold, but you still cannot have it. Obviously, I stress the importance of social distancing in the Committee Room. If at any time you feel that the social distancing is incorrect, let me know and we will take action.
We have a problem in that every member of the Committee cannot sit round the horseshoe, so some are having to sit in the Public Gallery. I would have liked Members in the Public Gallery to have been able to speak, but unfortunately, because of the recordings that we need to make for Hansard, that is not possible. I tried to put a Member where the hon. Member for Edinburgh West is sitting, but you will have to move, because I have been told that you cannot go there. You are too close to the Member in front.
If a member of the Committee wants to speak, they will have to come into the horseshoe and somebody from the horseshoe will have to step back. That is not ideal, because we are moving around, but trust me, before we started, we tried every form of social distancing to get it to work. If you want to know what social distancing looks like, I am exactly the right height. If you imagine me flat on the floor, you have to walk round me.
Hansard has asked for you to email your written notes or speeches, because obviously these are not normal circumstances, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today we will first consider the programme motion on the amendment paper. We will then consider a motion to enable the reporting of written evidence for publication and a motion to allow us to deliberate in private about our questions before the oral evidence session. In view of the limited time available, I hope that we can take these matters without much debate. I call the Minister to move the programme motion that was agreed by the Programming Sub-Committee on Tuesday.
I beg to move,
(1) the Committee shall (in addition to its first meeting at 11.30 am on Thursday 4 June) meet—
(a) at 2.00 pm on Thursday 4 June;
(b) at 9.25 am and 2.00 pm on Tuesday 9 June;
(c) at 9.25 am and 2.00 pm on Wednesday 10 June;
(d) at 11.30 am and 2.00 pm on Thursday 11 June;
(e) at 9.25 am and 2.00 pm on Tuesday 16 June;
(f) at 9.25 am and 2.00 pm on Wednesday 17 June;
(2) the Committee shall hear oral evidence in accordance with the following Table:
Until no later than 12.30 pm
Nicole Jacobs, Designate
Until no later than 1.00 pm
Until no later than 2.15 pm
Latin American Women’s
Until no later than 2.45 pm
Somiya Basar; Saliha Rashid
Until no later than 3.15 pm
Women’s Aid Federation of England;
End Violence Against
Until no later than 3.45 pm
Until no later than 4.15 pm
Hestia; Gisela Valle, Step Up
Migrant Women UK
Until no later than 4.30 pm
Dame Vera Baird QC,
Commissioner for Victims and Witnesses
Until no later than 5.00 pm
Welsh Women’s Aid
(3) proceedings on consideration of the Bill in Committee shall be taken in the following order: Clauses 1 to 37; Schedule 1; Clauses 38 to 62; Schedule 2; Clauses 63 to 73; new Clauses; new Schedules; remaining proceedings on the Bill;
(4) the proceedings on the Bill shall (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a conclusion at 5.00 pm on Thursday 25 June.
I am delighted to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Bone, alongside my hon. Friend the Member for Cheltenham, the co-Minister for this important piece of legislation. We want to get on and hear the evidence from our commissioner, the first witness, so I will be brief. The motion provides the Committee with sufficient time to scrutinise this landmark Bill. I welcome the fact that it will enable us to hear evidence from 14 witnesses, including survivors of domestic abuse, so I invite the Committee to agree it.