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Votes and Proceedings
Tuesday 6 February 2024

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Contents

Chamber business

The House met at 11.30 am.

Prayers

1Questions to the Chancellor of the Exchequer

2Support for Infants and Parents etc (Information) Bill: Presentation (Standing Order No. 57)

Sally-Ann Hart presented a Bill to make provision for and in connection with the making available of information about support available for infants, parents and carers of infants, and prospective parents and carers, including reporting requirements relating to such support.

Bill read the first time; to be read a second time on Friday 15 March, and to be printed (Bill 160).

3Ministerial Severance (Reform) Bill: Presentation (Standing Order No. 57)

Emily Thornberry presented a Bill to amend the Ministerial and other Pensions and Salaries Act 1991 in relation to grants to persons ceasing to hold ministerial and other offices; and for connected purposes.

Bill read the first time; to be read a second time on Tuesday 27 February, and to be printed (Bill 162).

4Social energy tariff: Motion for leave to bring in a Bill (Standing Order No. 23)

Ordered, That leave be given to bring in a Bill to require the Secretary of State to publish proposals for a social tariff for energy;

That Marion Fellows, Peter Aldous, John McDonnell, Cat Smith, Owen Thompson, Kirsten Oswald, Alison Thewliss, Patricia Gibson, Dave Doogan, David Linden, Alyn Smith and Drew Hendry present the Bill.

Marion Fellows accordingly presented the Bill.

Bill read the first time; to be read a second time on Friday 15 March, and to be printed (Bill 161).

5Opposition Day (4th allotted day)

(1) Banning knives and swords from UK streets

Resolved, That this House condemns the Government for overseeing a 77 per cent increase in knife crime since 2015; recognises the devastating impact that knife crime has on victims, their families and the wider community; acknowledges that the Government recently announced measures to ban zombie knives and machetes; believes, nonetheless, that this legislation does not go nearly far enough, meaning that a number of dangerous types of knives and swords will remain legal and available on UK streets; therefore calls on the Government to address the shortcomings of the ban by extending it to cover ninja swords and consulting on a further extension; and further calls for the Government to establish an end-to-end review of online knife sales and introduce criminal liability for senior management of websites which indirectly sell illegal knives online.—(Alex Norris.)

(2) Ministerial severance (reform)

Motion made and Question put, That this House calls on the Government to immediately introduce legislation to amend the Ministerial and other Pensions and Salaries Act 1991 to ensure that —

(i) departing Ministers who have not attained the age of sixty-five receive an amount equal to one-quarter of their earnings over the previous twelve months as a Minister, minus any period covered by a previous severance entitlement, where that is lower than an amount equal to one-quarter of the annual salary paid to that Minister before their departure;

(ii) any person who returns to ministerial office after three weeks but within the period equivalent to the number of days of salary that they were paid in severance must return the corresponding amount of their severance payment;

(iii) no person departing ministerial office while under investigation for allegations of gross misconduct or breaching the ministerial code will be entitled to a severance payment unless and until they are cleared of those allegations by the relevant authority;

and makes provision as set out in this Order, to take effect unless such a Bill has been introduced by no later than Monday 26 February 2024:

(1) On Tuesday 27 February 2024:

(a) Standing Order No. 14(1) (which provides that government business shall have precedence at every sitting save as provided in that order) shall not apply;

(b) any proceedings governed by this order may be proceeded with until any hour, though opposed, and shall not be interrupted;

(c) the Speaker may not propose the Question on the previous question, and may not put any Question under Standing Order No. 36 (Closure of debate) or Standing Order No. 163 (Motion to sit in private);

(d) at 3.00pm, the Speaker shall interrupt any business prior to the business governed by this order and, notwithstanding the practice of this House as regards to proceeding on a Bill without notice, call the Rt hon. Member for Islington South and Finsbury or another Member on her behalf to move the order of the day that the Ministerial Severance (Reform) Bill be now read a second time;

(e) in respect of that Bill, notices of Amendments, new Clauses and new Schedules to be moved in Committee may be accepted by the Clerks at the Table before the Bill has been read a second time.

(f) any proceedings interrupted or superseded by this order may be resumed or (as the case may be) entered upon and proceeded with after the moment of interruption.

(2) The provisions of paragraphs (3) to (18) of this order shall apply to and in connection with the proceedings on the Ministerial Severance (Reform) Bill in the present Session of Parliament.

Timetable for the Bill on Tuesday 27 February 2024

(3) (a) Proceedings on Second Reading and in Committee of the whole House, any proceedings on Consideration and proceedings up to and including Third Reading shall be taken at the sitting on Tuesday 27 February 2024 in accordance with this Order.

(b) Proceedings on Second Reading shall be brought to a conclusion (so far as not previously concluded) at 5.00pm.

(c) Proceedings on any money resolution which may be moved by a Minister of the Crown in relation to the Bill shall be taken without debate immediately after Second Reading.

(d) Proceedings in Committee of the whole House, any proceedings on Consideration and proceedings up to and including Third Reading shall be brought to a conclusion (so far as not previously concluded) at 7.00pm.

Timing of proceedings and Questions to be put on Tuesday 27 February 2024

(4) When the Bill has been read a second time:

(a) it shall, notwithstanding Standing Order No. 63 (Committal of bills not subject to a programme order), stand committed to a Committee of the whole House without any Question being put;

(b) the Speaker shall leave the Chair whether or not notice of an Instruction has been given.

(5) (a) On the conclusion of proceedings in Committee of the whole House, the Chairman shall report the Bill to the House without putting any Question.

(b) If the Bill is reported with amendments, the House shall proceed to consider the Bill as amended without any Question being put.

(6) For the purpose of bringing any proceedings to a conclusion in accordance with paragraph (3), the Chairman or Speaker shall forthwith put the following Questions in the same order as they would fall to be put if this Order did not apply:

(a) any Question already proposed from the Chair;

(b) any Question necessary to bring to a decision a Question so proposed;

(c) the Question on any amendment, new clause or new schedule selected by the Chairman or Speaker for separate decision;

(d) the Question on any amendment moved or Motion made by a designated Member;

(e) any other Question necessary for the disposal of the business to be concluded; and shall not put any other Questions, other than the Question on any motion described in paragraph (15) of this Order.

(7) On a Motion made for a new Clause or a new Schedule, the Chairman or Speaker shall put only the Question that the Clause or Schedule be added to the Bill.

Consideration of Lords Amendments and Messages on a subsequent day

(8) If any Message on the Bill (other than a Message that the House of Lords agrees with the Bill without amendment or agrees with any Message from this House) is expected from the House of Lords on any future sitting day, the House shall not adjourn until that Message has been received and any proceedings under paragraph (9) have been concluded.

(9) On any day on which such a Message is received, if a designated Member indicates to the Speaker an intention to proceed to consider that Message:

(a) notwithstanding Standing Order No. 14(1) (which provides that government business shall have precedence at every sitting save as provided in that order), any Lords Amendments to the Bill or any further Message from the Lords on the Bill may be considered forthwith without any Question being put; and any proceedings interrupted for that purpose shall be suspended accordingly;

(b) proceedings on consideration of Lords Amendments or on any further Message from the Lords shall (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a conclusion one hour after their commencement; and any proceedings suspended under subparagraph (a) shall thereupon be resumed;

(c) the Speaker may not propose the Question on the previous question, and may not put any Question under Standing Order No. 36 (Closure of debate) or Standing Order No. 163 (Motion to sit in private) in the course of those proceedings.

(10) Paragraphs (2) to (7) of Standing Order No. 83F (Programme orders: conclusion of proceedings on consideration of Lords amendments) apply for the purposes of bringing any proceedings on consideration of Lords Amendments to a conclusion as if:

(a) any reference to a Minister of the Crown were a reference to a designated Member;

(b) after paragraph (4)(a) there is inserted—

“(aa) the question on any amendment or motion selected by the Speaker for separate decision;”.

(11) Paragraphs (2) to (5) of Standing Order No. 83G (Programme orders: conclusion of proceedings on further messages from the Lords) apply for the purposes of bringing any proceedings on consideration of a Lords Message to a conclusion as if any reference to a Minister of the Crown were a reference to a designated Member.

Reasons Committee

(12) Paragraphs (2) to (6) of Standing Order No. 83H (Programme orders: reasons committee) apply in relation to any committee to be appointed to draw up reasons after proceedings have been brought to a conclusion in accordance with this Order as if any reference to a Minister of the Crown were a reference to a designated Member.

Miscellaneous

(13) Standing Order No. 82 (Business Committee) shall not apply in relation to any proceedings on the Bill to which this Order applies.

(14) (a) No Motion shall be made, except by a designated Member, to alter the order in which any proceedings on the Bill are taken, to recommit the Bill or to vary or supplement the provisions of this Order.

(b) No notice shall be required of such a Motion.

(c) Such a Motion may be considered forthwith without any Question being put; and any proceedings interrupted for that purpose shall be suspended accordingly.

(d) The Question on such a Motion shall be put forthwith; and any proceedings suspended under sub-paragraph (c) shall thereupon be resumed.

(e) Standing Order No. 15(1) (Exempted business) shall apply to proceedings on such a Motion.

(15) (a) No dilatory Motion shall be made in relation to proceedings on the Bill to which this Order applies except by a designated Member.

(b) The Question on any such Motion shall be put forthwith.

(16) Proceedings to which this Order applies shall not be interrupted under any Standing Order relating to the sittings of the House.

(17) No private business may be considered at any sitting to which the provisions of this order apply.

(18) (a) The start of any debate under Standing Order No. 24 (Emergency debates) to be held on a day on which proceedings to which this Order applies are to take place shall be postponed until the conclusion of any proceedings to which this Order applies.

(b) Standing Order 15(1) (Exempted business) shall apply in respect of any such debate.

(19) In this Order, “a designated Member” means:

(a) the Rt hon. Member for Islington South and Finsbury; and

(b) any other Member acting on behalf of the Rt hon. Member for Islington South and Finsbury.—(Emily Thornberry.)

The House divided.

Division No. 74

Ayes: 192 (Tellers: Gerald Jones, Kim Leadbeater)

Noes: 275 (Tellers: Suzanne Webb, Mr Gagan Mohindra)

Question negatived.

6Statutory Instruments: Motions for Approval

(1) Motion made and Question put forthwith (Standing Order No. 118(6)), That the draft European Organization for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere and the European Space Agency (Immunities and Privileges) (Amendment) Order 2023, which was laid before this House on 18 December 2023, be approved.—(Joy Morrissey.)

Question agreed to.

Motion made and Question put forthwith, That the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (High-Risk Countries) (Amendment) Regulations 2024 (SI 2024, No. 69), dated 22 January 2024, a copy of which was laid before this House on 22 January, be approved.—(Joy Morrissey.)

Question agreed to.

7Public petitions

(1) A public petition from residents of the constituency of Dartford relating to road safety and Brent Primary School was presented and read by Gareth Johnson.

(2) A public petition from residents of the constituency of Linlithgow and East Falkirk relating to road freight rates was presented and read by Martyn Day.

(3) A public petition from residents of Brixham in the constituency of Totnes relating to protection of Breakwater Beach in Brixham was presented and read by Anthony Mangnall.

(4) A public petition from residents of the constituency of Glasgow East relating to ceasefire and the state of Palestine was presented and read by David Linden.

8Adjournment

Subject: Support for civilians seeking to flee the war in Gaza (Peter Grant)

Motion made and Question proposed, That this House do now adjourn.—(Joy Morrissey.)

At 7 pm, the Motion lapsed (Standing Order No. 9(3)).

Resolved, That this House do now adjourn.—(Joy Morrissey.)

Adjourned at 7.03 pm until tomorrow.

Other Proceedings

General Committees: Reports

9Second Delegated Legislation Committee

Sir Robert Syms (Chair) reported The Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (High-Risk Countries) (Amendment) Regulations 2024 (SI, 2024, No.69).

10Third Delegated Legislation Committee

Mrs Sheryll Murray (Chair) reported the draft Gender Recognition (Approved Countries and Territories and Saving Provision) Order 2023.

11Fourth Delegated Legislation Committee

Martin Vickers (Chair) reported the draft Water Industry (Special Administration) Regulations 2024 and the draft Water Industry Act 1991 (Amendment) Order 2024.

General Committees: Appointments

The Speaker appoints the Chair of General Committees and members of Programming Sub-Committees, and allocates Statutory Instruments to Delegated Legislation Committees.

The Committee of Selection nominates Members to serve on General Committees (and certain Members to serve on Grand Committees).

12Fourth Delegated Legislation Committee (draft Water Industry (Special Administration) Regulations 2024 and draft Water Industry Act 1991 (Amendment) Order 2024)

Members: Mark Garnier and Dr Caroline Johnson discharged and Dr Thérèse Coffey and Trudy Harrison nominated in substitution.

13Fifth Delegated Legislation Committee (draft East Midlands Combined County Authority Regulations 2024)

Members: Sir David Evennett and Chloe Smith discharged and Anthony Mangnall and Trudy Harrison nominated in substitution.

14Sixth Delegated Legislation Committee (draft Social Security (Contributions) (Limits and Thresholds, National Insurance Funds Payments and Extension of Veterans Relief) Regulations 2024 and draft Tax Credits, Child Benefit and Guardian’s Allowance Up-rating Regulations 2024)

Members: Tonia Antoniazzi discharged and Mary Glindon nominated in substitution.

Select Committees: Reports

15Backbench Business Committee

Transcript of representations made on Tuesday 6 February to be published (Ian Mearns).

16Business and Trade Committee

(1) UK accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership: Second Report, to be printed, with the formal minutes relating to the Report (HC 483);

(2) Batteries for electric vehicle manufacturing: Government response to the Committee’s First Report: Second Special Report, to be printed (HC 547);

(3) Implementation of the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023: Oral and written evidence, to be published (HC 522);

(4) Correspondence from the Minister for Enterprise, Markets and Small Business relating to the Shared Parental Leave and Pay Bill: Written evidence, to be published;

(5) Correspondence with the Deputy Prime Minister relating to a call for evidence on the NSI Act 2021: Written evidence, to be published;

(6) Private equity and the retail sector: Written evidence, to be published (HC 416)

(Liam Byrne).

17Culture, Media and Sport Committee

(1) Promoting Britain abroad follow-up: Oral evidence, to be published (HC 158);

(2) Creator remuneration: Written evidence, to be published (HC 156);

(3) Gambling regulation: Written evidence, to be published (HC 176);

(4) National Lottery follow up: Written evidence, to be published (HC 551);

(5) Women’s sport: Written evidence, to be published (HC 177)

(Dame Caroline Dinenage).

18Education Committee

(1) Impact of industrial action on university students: Oral and written evidence, to be published (HC 327);

(2) Children’s social care: Written evidence, to be published (HC 372);

(3) Correspondence from the Chief Regulator of Ofqual setting out his priorities in the role: Written evidence, to be published

(Mr Robin Walker).

19Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee

(1) UK trade policy: food and agriculture: Oral and written evidence, to be published (HC 162);

(2) Correspondence with Ian Paisley MP relating to blue-green algae: Written evidence, to be published;

(3) Pet welfare and abuse: Written evidence, to be published (HC 161);

(4) Thames Water finances: Written evidence, to be published (HC 402)

(Dr Neil Hudson).

20Finance Committee

Record of the Committee’s decisions taken at its meeting on 6 February, to be published (Mrs Sharon Hodgson).

21Foreign Affairs Committee

Follow-up to Xinjiang inquiry: Oral evidence, to be published (HC 541) (Alicia Kearns).

22Health and Social Care Committee

(1) Prevention in Health and Social Care: Alcohol, drugs, smoking and gambling: Oral evidence, to be published (HC 141);

(4) Correspondence from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Care relating to rising measles cases in the West Midlands: Written evidence, to be published;

(5) Correspondence with the Minister of State for Legal Migration and the Border relating to immigration and social care: Written evidence, to be published;

(2) Future cancer: Written evidence, to be printed (HC 138);

(3) Pharmacy: Written evidence, to be printed (HC 140)

(Steve Brine).

23Holocaust Memorial Bill (Select Committee on the)

(1) Petitioning against the Holocaust Memorial Bill: Oral and written evidence, to be published (HC 121);

(2) Correspondence from Brian Doctor KC in relating to the scope of the Select Committee’s role: Written evidence, to be published;

(3) Correspondence from Richard Buxton in relation to site selection consultation: Written evidence, to be published;

(4) Correspondence from the Promoter: Written evidence, to be published

(John Stevenson).

24Home Affairs Committee

Work of the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner: Oral and written evidence, to be published (HC 503) (Dame Diana Johnson).

25Justice Committee

(1) Future prison population and estate capacity: Oral evidence, to be published (HC 29);

(2) Correspondence from HM Prison and Probation Service relating to the category D open estate: Written evidence, to be published;

(3) Correspondence from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State: Written evidence, to be published;

(4) The Coroner Service: follow-up: Written evidence, to be published (HC 490);

(5) The use of pre-recorded cross-examination under Section 28 of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999: Written evidence, to be published (HC 267)

(Sir Robert Neill).

26Petitions Committee

(1) Record of the Committee’s decisions relating to e-petitions, to be published;

(2) List of closed e-petitions presented to the House, to be published

(Cat Smith).

27Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee

(1) Transforming the UK’s Statistical Evidence Base: Oral evidence, to be published (HC 197);

(2) Correspondence from the Chair of the Electoral Commission relating to the Electoral Commission Chief Executive appointment: Written evidence, to be published;

(3) Correspondence from the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman relating to the publication of their report on mental health care and treatment: Written evidence, to be published;

(4) Correspondence from the Senior Non-Executive Director of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman relating to the delay in appointing a new Ombudsman: Written evidence, to be published

(Mr William Wragg).

28Standards (Committee on)

House of Commons standards landscape: Oral and written evidence, to be published (HC 247) (Ms Harriet Harman).

29Treasury Committee

(1) Work of UK Government Investments: Oral evidence, to be published (HC 494);

(2) The work of HMRC: Written evidence, to be published (HC 217);

(3) Work of the Financial Conduct Authority: Written evidence, to be published (HC 210)

(Harriett Baldwin).

Lindsay Hoyle

Speaker

Westminster Hall

The sitting began at 9.30 am.

Business appointed by the Chairman of Ways and Means (Standing Order No. 10(6))

1Freedom of religion and belief in Nigeria

Resolved, That this House has considered freedom of religion and belief in Nigeria.—(Jim Shannon.)

The sitting was suspended between 10.46 am and 11.00 am.

2Fly-tipping

Resolved, That this House has considered the matter of fly-tipping.—(Sarah Jones.)

The sitting was suspended between 11.30 am and 2.30 pm (Standing Order No. 10(1)(b)).

3Potential merits of extending the Homes for Ukraine Scheme

Resolved, That this House has considered the potential merits of extending the Homes for Ukraine Scheme.—(Mrs Pauline Latham.)

4Flooding

Resolved, That this House has considered the matter of flooding.—(Mr Laurence Robertson.)

5Nursery provision in the South West

Resolved, That this House has considered nursery provision in the South West.—(Luke Pollard.)

Sitting adjourned without Question put (Standing Order No. 10(14)).

Eleanor Laing

Chairman of Ways and Means

Papers Laid

Other papers

1Criminal Law

Explanatory Memorandum to the draft Criminal Justice Act 1988 (Offensive Weapons) (Amendment, Surrender and Compensation) Order 2024 (by Command) (Secretary James Cleverly)

2Digital Economy

The Statutory Review of the Debt and Fraud Powers of the Digital Economy Act 2017 (by Act) (Alex Burghart)

3Science, Innovation and Technology

A pro-innovation approach to AI regulation: Government Response to consultation (by Command) (CP 1019) (Secretary Michelle Donelan)

4National Audit

Report by the Comptroller and Auditor General on Cabinet Office and HM Treasury: Lessons learned: tackling fraud and protecting propriety in government spending during an emergency (by Act), to be printed (HC 444) (Clerk of the House)

Withdrawn papers

5Criminal Law

Explanatory Memorandum to the draft Criminal Justice Act 1988 (Offensive Weapons) (Amendment, Surrender and Compensation) Order 2024 (laid 25 January 2024)