Following a hectic weekend of anti-lockdown protests (while the Government are set to ease lockdown!) we would expect a hectic week ahead at Westminster. There will be some clashes this week over steel the right to protest, building safety and other matters but Monday is not looking to bad.
In the Commons
The day begins with Home Office questions – quite apt too after the riotous weekend!
Today’s business will focus mainly on amendments coming from the Lords including the Fire Safety Bill, the Counter Terrorism Bill and the Trade Bill. Many MPs will have had campaigns in their inboxes, particularly over te latter Bill but as Lords Amendments, they are unlikely to make it through. The Leader of the House will also be appointing a new chair for the electoral commission. Adjournment if they get to is is a debate on safety regulations for cranes in construction.
The afternoon will see the Unmanned Aircraft Bill being voted through, likely with no issues and petition debates on whether the Independence vote in Scotland really was a once a generation vote (expect cheers, boos and full on Parli panto from all sides), a debate on the Covid19 roadmap with a focus on golf, gyms and nurseries and if there should be a ‘work out to help out’ scheme – while we are all looking forward to shedding our lockdown pounds, I am not expecting a yes on such a scheme.
The Committee corridor sees BBC bigwig Tim Davie being questioned over finances and the future of the BBC by the Public Accounts Committee, DCMS will finally be closing their inqury on streaming music and whether artists deserve more money.
The afternoon committees get much more interesting as Theresa May and Phillip Hammond are wheeled out to discuss defence and national security as part of the National Secuirty Strategy Joint Committee. No doubt the recent integrated defence review will get a few mentions.
In the Lords
The Lords kick off their day with questions to the Minister on head pumps, British judges in Hong Kong, the expenses of running for office and bosting diversity and the impact Covid19 has had on prisoners and their rehabilitation.
Lord Vernon Coaker (ex MP) will be introduced to the House and there will be a health update from Lord Bethell.
The afternon sees the Lords considering regulations on Covid19 care, direct payments to farmers and sales to conected person when companies are in administration. A pretty standard day for the Lords really but important items to be working throguh.
It is also the fourth anniversary of the murder of PC Keith Palmer, this is still so sad for many Parliamentarians wo would see him every day but also makes them more mindful that the security who regularly walk by them, oftening giving them a furrowed eyebrow are really there to do their job, a job that in the event of a terrorist attack that can save lives. Security, police, diplomatic protection services all run to the danger that the rest of us run away from. It doesn’t seem like four years since the attack but does make us concious that security can still be much improved around access to and just outside of Parliament. RIP PC Palmer.
Parliament are holding a memorial service for him and if anyone is passing by and notes more flowers than usual outside of Parliament, please do be respectful. PC Palmer saved so many lives that day, a real hero.