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Covid-19: Lords questions government on support for universities and women's sport

29 June 2020

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In the House of Lords on Tuesday 30 June, questions to the government focused on marriages and religious weddings law reform, universities during the Covid-19, support for women's sport and the situation on the border between North and South Korea. There was also a Private Notice Question on the Prime Minister's National Security Advisor.

Questions on Tuesday 30 June:

  • Baroness Cox asked the government about its commitment to ‘explore the legal and practical challenges of limited reform relating to the law on marriage and religious weddings'.

    Members discussed topics including: Muslim marriage; the right to practice religion; legal recognition for humanist marriages; the differences between law in England and Wales, and Scotland; child marriage; supporting education of rights for people that are not legally married and the benefits of a civil marriage; and legal protections for women in Muslim marriages.


  • Baroness Randerson asked the government what support it is providing to assist universities in dealing with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Members discussed topics including: creating a larger package of support for universities; working with higher education institutions to ensure the widening of access; a temporary increase in specialist institution funding to support the creative economy; refunding of tuition fees; reform of student and university funding to support short courses for mature students; and changes to graduate visas.


  • Lord Randall of Uxbridge asked the government what plans it has to support women's sport after the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Members discussed topics including: maintaining an interest in sport for girls over the age of 14; the contributions of lower football league clubs to women's sport; community sports centres encouraging young women to stay active; enhancing the diversity of sports governing bodies; giving prominence to broadcasting women's sports; the financial constraints on women's cricket; body shaming in female sports; appointing more female senior role models and government financial support to women's sports.


  • Lord West of Spithead asked the government about the situation on the border between North and South Korea and the 1953 Korean Armistice Agreement.

    Members discussed topics including: the current progress of the peace treaty between North and South Korea; the spread of Coronavirus in North Korea; UK's support for regional allies region; food shortages and famine in North Korea; the UK's collaboration with the US and China to ensure peace between North and South Korea; UN sanctions and humanitarian aid for North Korea and the UN's role in achieving peace in the peninsula.

The Lord Speaker has also accepted an urgent question (Private Notice Question) from Lord Robertson of Port Ellen:

  • Lord Robertson of Port Ellen asked the government when a life peerage is to be conferred on Mr David Frost b) when he is to be introduced and c) whether he will be accountable to the House in relation to his duties as the Prime Minister's Europe Adviser and the UK's Chief Negotiator and his duties as the Prime Minister's National Security Adviser.

    Members discussed topics including: making the role of National Security Adviser a political appointment; democratic approval for changes to the role; cross-party approval for changes; the impartial advice given by the National Security Council; the introduction of David Frost to the House of Lords; reform of the civil service; the background experience necessary for the role of National Security Adviser; and the progress of Brexit negotiations.

Further information

Image: House of Lords / Roger Harris