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Lords questions government in oral questions on 5 May

4 May 2020

Image of UK Parliament portcullis

The House of Lords returned to business on Tuesday 5 May, with daily oral questions being held in virtual proceedings.

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

Questions on Tuesday 5 May:

  • Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb asked the government what assessment it has made about inconsistencies between COVID-19-related guidance and legislation, and the impact of these on police interactions with the public.

    Topics discussed included: a Crown Prosecution Service review of prosecutions; access to public parks; clarity on the differences between guidance and law; protection of bats in the UK; approval of Covid-19 guidelines by police and crime commissioners; and consultation between police commanders and local MPs and councillors.

  • Baroness Bonham-Carter of Yarnbury asked the government how it plans to ensure freelance workers can access adequate funds through the welfare system until payments under the Covid-19 self-employment support scheme begin.

    Topics discussed include: support for the creative industries; savings thresholds; interim support before the scheme begins; support for those at the start of their self-employed career; levels of support available; and other government support available to freelance workers.


  • Lord Kennedy of Southwark asked the government  how it plans to address incidents of domestic violence during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Topics discussed include: the Domestic Abuse Bill becoming law; money provided to support and raise awareness of domestic abuse charities; additional support and help for victims; incentives for public information films; funding for stalking victims and charities; support for victims of abuse with mental health issues; supporting child victims during lockdown; government partnering with faith groups to raise awareness during the pandemic; and encouraging neighbours to inform the police about repeated episodes of domestic violence.


  • Lord Blencathra asked the government how it plans to ensure airlines and tour companies refund people for costs incurred following the cancellation of flights and holidays.

    Topics discussed include: travel companies in breach of 2018 regulations requiring a full refund within 14 days; action to protect consumer rights; companies benefiting from bailouts while failing to pay refunds for cancellations; government underwriting of refunds voucher claims in the event of future airline failure; support to airlines; plans to enable flights to take off this year following social distancing guidelines on-board; insurance companies claiming force majeure; and fair legal treatment of customers regarding refunds.


The Lord Speaker also accepted the following urgent question (Private Notice Question) from Lord Forsyth of Drumlean:

  • Lord Forsyth of Drumlean asked the government, in the light of recent press reports, whether it is considering proposals for reform of the House of Lords based on the exclusion of those over the age of 65.

    Topics discussed include: a rebuttal of repots in newspapers; appropriate scrutiny of any future reform proposals by the House of Lords; capping the size of the House; the impact on scrutiny of the government by the House of Lords; and the balance of membership by gender and ethnic background.

Further information

Image: House of Lords / Roger Harris