Lords questions government on Covid-19 and the EU on 3 June
2 June 2020
On Wednesday 3 June, the House of Lords started business with daily oral questions on Covid-19, the Royal Commission on criminal justice, the EU and schools.
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 on this page.
Questions on Wednesday 3 June:
- Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle asked the government about the operation of local democracy in the UK during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Topics discussed include: government support to ensure local democracy takes place; the role of local councils in recovery from Covid-19; postponement of local council byelections; government plans to sustain accomodation for roughsleepers; digital support for local democracy; reviewing procedures for local elections; citizens assemblies; and increasing online and video meetings in local government.
- Lord Ramsbotham asked the government when it will announce the chair, timings, and terms of reference of the Royal Commission on criminal justice.
Topics discussed include: the impact and lessons learned from the Covid-19 pandemic; membership of the Royal Commission; a review on policing; adressing racial and class differences in the criminal justice system; the remit of the review; numbers of prisoners held under IPP sentences; increasing the number of court sitting days across the UK; reviewing the lengths of sentences; and court clorsures and local access to the criminal justice system.
- The Earl of Clancarty asked the government about its progress reaching a reciprocal agreement with the EU to enable British musicians to tour in Europe following the transition period.
Topics discussed include: proposals for the government to develop touring visas for British and EU musicians; financial support for young musicians; plans to set up mutual arrangements with oversees governments to allow UK orchestra tours; the continued prevention of double social security payments when British musicians travel to EU countries; the reputation of British musicians; and the EU health insurance card scheme.
- Lord Blencathra asked the government about keeping schools open during July and August to ensure students are not disadvantaged by the school closures due to Covid-19.
Topics discussed include: inductions for newly qualified teachers; the safe return to school for children in Northern Ireland; suspending exams; learning support for children in care; government partnerships with teaching unions during school closures; plans to ensure children in poverty or rural areas are able stay digitally connected over the summer; and support for schools during the summer.
The Lord Speaker has also accepted the following urgent question (Private Notice Question) from Baroness Ritchie of Downpatrick:
- Baroness Ritchie of Downpatrick asked the government what plans it has to ensure the implementation of the Victims Payment Scheme in Northern Ireland following the passage of the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Act 2019.
Topics discussed include: delays to the scheme; administration and funding of the scheme; a timeline for the start of payments; eligibility for the scheme; taking a victim-centred approach to managing the scheme; and support for those making their applications, including legal aid.
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