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Lords questions government on cancelled operations and more on 10 June

9 June 2020

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The House of Lords started business on Wednesday 10 June with daily oral questions on foreign debt held by G20 countries, water sanitation in Sub-Saharan Africa, cancelled medical operations due to Covid-19 and children in poverty over the summer holidays.

You can watch the full session on Parliament TV. A transcript will also be available via Lords Hansard around three hours after proceedings, and a short summary of what was discussed is available below.


Questions on Wednesday 10 June:

  • The Lord Bishop of Worcester asked the government what steps it is taking to ensure G20 countries cancel any debt owed to them by the poorest countries.

    Topics discussed include: debt forgiveness instead of suspension in light of the Covid-19 pandemic; the UK's debt forgiveness and grant financing programmes; ensuring aid is used for combatting Covid-19; cancellation of debt as part of the Black Lives Matter movement; potentially extending the debt service suspension initiative as part of the G20; and directing support to enable economic recovery.


  • Lord Bruce of Bennachie asked the government what steps it is taking to increase its support for water and sanitation programmes in Sub-Saharan Africa during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Topics discussed include: the impact of Covid-19 and the climate emergency on water supplies; increasing support for sanitation programmes in areas significantly affected by Covid-19; collaboration with the CDC, the UK's development finance institution; extending the WASH programme; the GAVI vaccine alliance; funding for health and sanitation programmes in Uganda; and the use of the term Sub-Saharan Africa.


  • Baroness Kennedy of Cradley asked the government about the impact of cancelled medical operations due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Topics discussed include: empty private medical facilities; reintroducing routine health checks for over 75s; improving access to care for rare disease patients; hospital waiting lists; covid-19 protected spaces for cancer services; the commencement of chemotherapy treatment; keeping non-surgical care separate from Covid-19 areas; and a second wave of Covid-19 potentially leading to further delays in life saving medical operations.


  • Baroness Lister of Burtersett asked the government about its assessment of the impact on children in poverty of not providing free school meal vouchers during summer holidays.

    Topics discussed include: government responsibility for the welfare of vulnerable children and ensuring they have access to a healthy diet; supporting families with budgetary advice; continuing the entitlement of free school meals throughout the summer holiday; the increase in the cost of living for families; supermarket profits during the covid-19 pandemic; and keeping some schools open during the summer holidays.


The Lord Speaker has also accepted the following urgent question (Private Notice Question) from Lord Balfe:

  • Lord Balfe asked the government whether they will publish the scientific advice upon which the travel quarantine measures are based.

    Topics discussed include: publication of scientific advice from SAGE; guidance on checks on those in quarantine; public confidence in quarantine measures and compliance; assessments of impact on the economy caused by quarantine measures; testing-led alternatives to current plans; support for the UK tourism industry; bans on travel from countries with high infection rates; variations in policy across the devolved administrations of the UK; quarantine for those involved in international sport; and exemptions for frequent business travellers.

Further information

Image: House of Lords / Roger Harris