This week will be contentious in light of the Sarah Everard murder and the Government’s pre-planned Bills on crime and sentencing.
In the Commons
Today begins with defence questions and the opportunity for minister’s to respond to any urgent questions. Expect a few after the weekend’s protest/vigil events.
The day will also see the second reading of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill. It is huge, it deserves a lot of debate because it is so wide-ranging but it is expected to be stamped through. That said, the second reading has been given two days to discuss (unusual!). The Bill covers protests, statues, unauthorised encampments, new court types, rehabilitation, sentencing changes and management of offenders.
It is being pushed through quickly and does have a lot of public backing given recent news but it is not following usual conventions and not related to Covid19 so it is unusual to see the Bill rushed through without a break.
Westminster Hall sees the usual petition debates and today will hear discussions on vaccine passports, whether tests for year 11 and 12 should be cancelled because of the pandemic.
The Committee Corridor sees the Public Accounts team discussing local authorities and how they’ve been affected by the pandemic, it is not only factoring in biz rates but also other forms of usual income for councils like town centre car parks, airports and trams.
In the Lords
The Lords have some interesting questions for Ministers today on the BAME community and the pandemic, the Northern Ireland protocol, protests and reporting in India and how to reduce self harming amongst female prisoners.
The Lords will also be taking a look into whether they should change how they run private members bills as so many were put forward in the recent session and whether Lord Frost should have a questioning session, akin to other Cabinet Ministers who have moved into to the Lords.
The main debates today are on the Domestic Abuse Bill, whether misogyny should be a hate crime and whether an amendment should be put in place to allow illegal immigrants to report domestic abuse without their details being passed on to immigration services and have recourse to public funds for the duration.
If there’s time there may also be a debate on monitoring stalkers, making it easier for rental leases to change following DMV – something incredibly difficult to achieve at the moment.
Expect Government grumbles but this is the Lords doing what they do best – holding the Govt to account!