Lords questions government on support for journalists, removal of statues and more on 15 June
15 June 2020
The House of Lords started business on Monday 15 June with oral questions on support for journalists and politicians in Northern Ireland, committee membership for the review of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011, proposals for a furloughed space grant scheme during Covid-19 and preventing an increase in child poverty during the pandemic. There was also a Private Notice Question on the Black Lives Matter movement and the removal of statues
You can watch the question 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 asked on Monday 15 June:
- Lord Caine asked the government what support it is giving to journalists and politicians in Northern Ireland who have received death threats from paramilitary groups.
Topics discussed include: tackling paramilitary violence and threats; implementing the victims payment scheme; criminal legislation against impeding democracy; the Belfast Agreement; and meeting with the National Union of Journalists to discuss steps to safeguard journalists.
- Lord Norton of Louth asked the government when it will announce the membership of the committee to review the provisions of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011.
Topics discussed include: options for replacing the Fixed-term Parliaments Act; wide constitutional overhaul; strengthening the role of parliament; and ensuring the committee membership is representative.
- Lord Allen of Kensington asked the government about its assessment of the proposals by the British Retail Consortium and the British Property Federation for a furloughed space grant scheme during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Topics discussed include: encouraging landlords and tenants to negotiate settlements; speeding up the approvals of loan support schemes; lending to local authorities; amending the proposed business rates holiday; reforming the system of business rates; reviewing social distancing guidelines; changing Sunday trading laws; support for hotels; commercial landlords who hold their entities offshore; and introducing a register of commercial landlords.
- Baroness Lister of Burtersett asked the government what steps it is taking during the Covid-19 pandemic to prevent any increase in child poverty.
Topics discussed include: meeting government goals to reduce child poverty; supporting furloughed families; supporting children with no access to the internet at home; suspending the two child benefit cap; support for single parent families; supporting children whose parents have no recourse to public funds; and the provision of free school meals through to September.
The Lord Speaker also accepted the following urgent question (Private Notice Question) from The Lord Bishop of St Albans:
- The Lord Bishop of St Albans asked the government about ongoing protests led by the Black Lives Matter movement and the consequent removal of statues and monuments.
Topics discussed include: implementing the recommendations from previous reviews into the treatment of people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds; government commissions into new monuments; the removal of statues and monuments; the delay in publishing the Public Health England report into the deaths of BAME people due to Covid-19; government action to reduce racial disparities and discrimination; and the school curriculum.
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