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The State Opening of Parliament 

The UK general election took place on Thursday 4 July 2024. The new Parliament met on Tuesday 9 July 2024 for the election of the Speaker and swearing-in of MPs and Lords. The State Opening of Parliament and The King’s Speech will take place on Wednesday 17 July 2024.

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Lords questions government on waste prevention and UK's relationship with China on 17 June

16 June 2020

Image of UK Parliament portcullis

Daily oral questions in the House of Lords on 17 June focused on preventing waste of consumable products, the UK's relationship with the Chinese government, Covid-19 and addressing racism in the Armed Forces.

Questions on Wednesday 17 June:

  • Baroness Jones of Whitchurch asked the government about discussions with publicans on finding alternative uses for, and preventing the waste of, consumable products while Covid-19 restrictions are in place.

    Topics discussed included: the impact of lockdown on small breweries; reducing single use plastics; reopening pubs in July; reducing food waste; waiving charges for disposal of waste beer; and using the duty on beer to invest in recycling.


  • Baroness Northover asked the government about its relationship with the government of China.

    Topics discussed include: forging a new 'golden age' in the UK relationship with China; freedom of religion in China; encouraging China to respect legal and moral obligations to Hong Kong; pathways to British citizenship; human rights concerns; the situation in the South China Sea; and sanctions for human rights abuses.


  • Lord Scriven asked the government what action it has taken on Covid-19 as a result of the meeting of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies on 10 February.

    Topics discussed include: government advice to care homes on Covid-19; elements of SAGE advice being put to focus groups before being adopted; ministers' responsibilities for making decisions; establishing a working protocol for SAGE to clarify the relationship between scientific advice and political decisions; making facemasks available on highstreets and stations; and the speed of the government's response to Covid-19.


  • Lord Touhig asked the government what steps it is taking to address racism and improve diversity in the Armed Forces.

    Topics discussed include: changing the lived experience for BAME personnel; full officer training for BAME members of the Armed Forces; policy achievements since 2016 in the areas of bullying, harassment, discrimination and opportunities for women; improving diversity in the Royal Navy; immediate government response to support servicemen who are suffering from racism and bullying; recruiting BAME servicemen from the UK; and ensuring history lessons reflect the contributions of BAME servicemen.

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

  • Lord Storey asked the government, further to the announcement made on 16 June, whether they will set out the details of the 'Covid Summer food fund' for children eligible for free school meals.

    Topics discussed include: Marcus Rashford; other indicators of child poverty beyond free school meals; activities for children during the summer holiday; funding for food support; long term food support for children that are vulnerable during holidays; contributions from supermarkets towards the scheme; expanding acceptance of vouchers beyond supermarkets; tackling child poverty in the long term; support for those subject to no recourse to public funds rules; and support to share recipes.

Further information

Image: House of Lords / Roger Harris