Tuesday as usual is a busy one for the Committees but there’s also a few intersting debates put forward by MPs today which some of you will no doubt enjoy. It is a year to the day that the first British lockdown was implemented so there will be reflection on the lives lost and changed by the pandemic. While there is much hope now the end is in sight, there no individual in our country who was not affected in some way by the pandemic.
In the Commons
The day begins with BEIS questions and after Dominic Cummings reappearing last week, we expect questions on science, research and development as well as the usuals on supporting businesses as part the pandemic response.
Dean Russell, Conservtive MP for Watford is bringing forward a 10 Minute Rule Bill on fist aid formental health.
Moving back to research, MPs will be voting on the second reading ofthe ARIA Bill, creating a new research body (a project backed by Mr Cummings) and thi is expected to take up most of the day.
Dean Russell is back later in the day for adjournment with a debate on number plate recognition – quite a change in topic from the morning!
Westminster Hall sees a variety of debates a bit more exciting than the main chamber with debates on Government-backed insurance for live events, the 550th anniversary of the Battle of Barnet, improving the education system after Covid19 and proposals towards a smoke-free society by 2030.
The Committees see DCMS bringing in the sporty celebrities as they do further inquiries into sport and concussion from Team GB hockey and bobsleigh stars to ex-footballers like Chris Sutton. Medical experts working with the sports stars will also be getting interviewed. The Health Committee loks into youth mentl health again with Dame Rachel De Souza the new children’s commissioner.
The afternoon sees the Foreign Affairs Committee looking into blocking foreign assett stripping in the United Kingdom and whethe the FCO played a role (controversy!) and the Defence Committee keep their focus on the Integrated Review. The BEIS committe is looking into the mineworker’s pension scheme an issue which will be familiar to MPs in mining and ex-mining towns, the Econoic Affairs Committee is reviewing quantitive easing and Science and Tech continue looking into the role of batteries in achieving net zero.
In the Lords
The Lords start the day by querying ministers on proposals to add folic acid to flour, child crminal offences, removing anonymity from people who post racism online, restoring trust in corporate governance and how to tackle material which attacks public figures.
Following this will be a statement on Human Rights proiding a general update.
The Chamber then moves ont debating te Trade Bill and the genocide amendments (expecting some sort of compromise rather than a straight vote on this issue.
The afternoon sees approval motions for Registrations of Marriages, codes of practice for the 2003 Extradition Act and Renewables Obligations before a closing statement on the Integrated Review.
The list of candidates standing to be the next Lord Speaker will also be announced today.
Keeping the year of lockdown in our minds, our smiley, northern, famous MP Esther McVey is also enjoing her final campaign day for her 23rd March campaign, which raised funds for Variety the children’s charity, upload your pic or bung them tenner or two!