Chris Expresses Gratitude To The Opposition Front Bench
Christopher Chope Conservative, Christchurch
Madam Deputy Speaker, you and the Leader of the House will know that tomorrow is the 13th and final day scheduled for debate of private Members’ Bills in this Session. I am sure that my right hon. Friend will join me in paying tribute to the Comptroller of His Majesty’s Household, our hon. Friend Rebecca Harris—and, indeed, those on the Opposition Front Bench—for facilitating in this Session the passage of, I think, a record number of Bills to the other place. In the absence of any further sitting Fridays, can my right hon. Friend explain what will happen if any of those Bills that have gone to the other place are amended? How will we be able to deal with those amendments in this place without any further sitting Fridays?
Will my right hon. Friend take into account that there are now two precedents in recent times when the Session went on much longer—in this case we are talking about six months—than was originally scheduled? In one case there were 18 sitting Fridays—in other words, an additional five—and on the other occasion there were an additional four sitting Fridays. Will she ask the Procedure Committee to advise the House on how to take this matter forward?
Penny Mordaunt Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
I thank my hon. Friend for giving me and the whole House the opportunity to put on the record our thanks to my hon. Friend Rebecca Harris and all hon. Members who have worked so hard to put through some very important Bills. Since becoming Leader of the House, I have used the communication channels I have to shine a spotlight on a lot of this work, which does not really get much credit and goes unseen. It is very important; we have done some very good things. I have heard what my hon. Friend Sir Christopher Chope and other Members have said with regard to time for private Members’ Bills. Whatever happens in the other place, we will always find a way to deal with it.
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