Lords questions government on free TV licenses and Covid-19

03 July 2020

The House of Lords checks and challenges government decisions and action at the start of business from Monday 6 July to Friday 10 July.

This week, members question government on issues including the continuing response to COVID-19, free TV Licenses, and the future relationship between the UK and EU.

Catch up: Monday 6 July

Lord Foulkes of Cumnock (Labour) asked the government about the withdrawal of free TV Licenses.
Members discussed subjects including postponing the withdrawal indefinitely, BBC independence and the value of television to those isolating from Covid-19.

Baroness Meacher (Crossbench) asked the government about access to cannabis for medicinal purposes.
Members discussed subjects including NHS doctors being unwilling to prescribe, the costs of private prescriptions and reviewing regulation of cannabis.

Baroness Boycott (Crossbench) asked the government about the consumption of fruit and vegetables by children and adults.
Members discussed subjects including the school fruit and vegetable scheme, responsibility for the content of free school meals, government promotion of healthy diets. 

Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb (Green Party) asked the government about an increase in Covid-19 infections after lifting lockdown restrictions.
Members discussed subjects including deaths in care homes, meat-processing plants, providing data to local directors of public health.

Catch up: Tuesday 7 July


Lord Kennedy of Southwark (Labour) asked about the financial stability of local government in light of Covid-19.
Members discussed topics including financial support from the treasury, social care and local authority deficits.

Lord Roberts of Llandudno (Liberal Democrat) asked government about their handling of detainees of immigration removal centres.
Members discussed a range of topics, including lack of support for those released from centres, the mental health impact of detention and the number of detainees released rather than removed.

Lord Lilley (Conservative) questioned government on advice regarding eating chlorine-washed chicken or hormone-fed beef.
Members discussed topics including animal welfare standards, food security and future trade deals with the US and EU.

Baroness Randerson (Liberal Democrat) asked government about steps to encourage use of public transport.
Members discussed topics including people's confidence in public transport, the use of face coverings and spreading out peak commuting hours.

Lord Laming (Crossbench) asked a Private Notice Question (a type of urgent question) on assistance for residential care providers facing difficulties.
Members discussed a range of topics, including monitoring care providers, proposals for the future of social care and provision of PPE to care providers.

Catch up: Wednesday 8 July


Lord Berkeley (Labour) asked government about future plans for customs arrangements.
Members discussed topics including Northern Ireland, collaboration between the four nations of the UK, and collaboration with European countries on planning.

Lord Framlingham (Conservative) asked about government plans to prevent importation of plant pathogens.
Members discussed a range of topics including regulations to prevent the importing of plants infected with Xylella fastidiosa, inspection and testing regimes, and future trade with the USA.

Lord Dubs (Labour) questioned government on the White Paper on social care.
Members discussed topics including creating a national care service, inheritance tax and committing to a timetable for social care reform.

Lord Bownes (Conservative) asked a question about government investment in OneWeb.
Members discussed topics including the potential longterm cost to taxpayers, future plans for OneWeb and the impact on astronomy of Low Earth Orbit satellites.

Baroness D'Souza asked a Private Notice Question (a type of urgent question) about human rights in Bahrain.
Members discussed a range of topics including UK government representations to Bahrain regarding prisoners due to be executed, government assistance to Bahrain on reform and Magnitsky sanctions.

Catch up: Thursday 9 July


Lord Mackenzie of Framwellgate (Non-affiliated) asked government about impact on small businesses of quarantining internet transfers of cash.
Members discussed a range of topics including a joint task force to tackle fraud and payment issues, money laundering regulations and the National Crime Agency.

Lord Campbell of Pittenweem (Liberal Democrat) asked government about plans to publish the Intelligence and Security Committee report on Russia.
Members discussed topics including the delay in appointing a new Intelligence and Security Committee, possible Russian interference in elections and the EU referendum, and donations to UK political parties.

Lord Black of Brentwood (Conservative) asked government about impact of Covid-19 on the finances of places of worship.
Members discussed topics including government support for places of worship, gift aid and viral transmission through singing.

Lord Harries of Pentregarth asked a question about the Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime.
Members discussed a range of topics including parliamentary scrutiny of sanctions, multilateral collaboration on sanctions and removal of those sanctioned from the UK.

Baroness Ritchie of Downpatrick (Non-affiliated) asked a Private Notice Question (a type of urgent question) about the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review report, First Do No Harm.
Members discuss topics including further government action to implement the review's recommendations, redress for those affected, and involving patients and the review team in implementing the recommendations.

Catch up: Friday 10 July

Lord Stevenson of Balmacara (Labour) asked a Private Notice Question (a type of urgent question) about resuming arms export licenses to Saudi Arabia.
Members discussed a range of topics, including attacks on Yemen, the decision-making process to resume arms export licenses to Saudi Arabia, and government advice to exporters. 

Further information

More news on: Parliament, government and politics, Parliament, Lords news, Covid-19

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