Thursday 14 October: debates on Contaminated Blood and on Anti-Slavery Day

22 September 2010

The Backbench Business Committee is responsible for scheduling debates on 35 days during the current session, at least 27 of which will be debates in the main Chamber of the House of Commons, with the remainder to be taken in Westminster Hall.

On 15 September the Committee held its first public session to take representations from Members on subjects to be debated in backbench time. The Committee’s public session can be viewed at and a transcript will be placed on the Committee’s website at:

The Committee has determined that the following business will take place in backbench time:

Thursday 14 October

 Motion relating to Contaminated Blood and Blood Products (for approximately three hours), followed by a General Debate on Anti-slavery Day.

The Committee chose the issue of Contaminated Blood and Blood Products for debate on 14 October because of the urgency of this subject, which has not previously been debated on the floor of the House, and the significant public interest in and cross-party support for a debate. The subject was suggested to the Committee by Owen Smith MP and Mr Geoffrey Robinson MP. The Committee also received a number of written requests for a debate from other MPs passing on correspondence from constituents.

A debate on human trafficking was suggested to the Committee by Fiona Mactaggart MP, in the light of the UK’s first Anti-slavery Day on 18 October 2010.

Subject(s) for future debate

 The Committee has chosen the subject(s) set out below for debate when an opportunity arises:

Immigration: A debate on a substantive motion was suggested by Nicholas Soames MP and Mr Frank Field MP. The motion put forward is:

  • That this House calls on her Majesty’s Government to act on overwhelming concern about the present scale of immigration by taking firm measures to reduce immigration to the level of emigration without excluding those who are genuinely essential to our economic recovery on which so much else depends.

The Committee chose this subject because it was out forward in a cross-party basis and deals with a subject of public concern which has not been debated on the floor of the House on a substantive motion in recent times.

Other proposals received

A number of subjects for debate were suggested during this session. The Committee will consider these subjects alongside any future proposals for debate as further backbench time is made available by the Government.

Bob Russell MP: Child poverty

Robert Halfon MP: Internet and privacy

Gordon Banks MP: Looped blind cords

Duncan Hames MP and Charlotte Leslie MP: Cancun Climate Change Conference

Kate Green MP and Meg Hillier MP: Reform of housing benefit

Chris Williamson MP and Nic Dakin MP: Nuclear test veterans

Chris Heaton-Harris MP: Government policy on on-shore wind farms

Steve Rotheram MP: Governance of Professional Football Clubs

Margaret Hodge MP, Chair of the Public Accounts Committee: Debate on the work of the Committee House of Commons Commission Annual Report

Nicky Morgan MP: Houses in multiple occupation/sustainable communities

Graham Evans MP and Steve Baker MP: Reform of EDMs

Mr David Amess MP: Animals used in scientific experiments

Jim Sheridan MP: IPSA

Proposed Standing Order changes

The Committee has been asked to find time for changes to the Standing Orders of the House of Commons, as set out below. The views of the Procedure Committee and others on these changes have not yet been received. The Committee expects group such proposals together at a convenient day in the autumn.

Public Accounts Committee:

That Standing Order No. 148 (Committee of Public Accounts) be amended in paragraph (1) as follows:—

(1) in line 7 after 'records' insert ', to sit notwithstanding any adjournment of the House'; and

(2) in line 8 after 'time to time,' insert 'to appoint specialist advisers either to supply information which is not readily available or to elucidate matters of complexity within the committee's order of reference,'.

Liaison Committee:

That Standing Order No. 129 (Formal minutes to be reported) be amended by adding at the end, “; and the formal minutes of any select committee, together with the formal minutes of any sub-committees which they may appoint, may be published from time to time”.

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