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Historic statues and cancer taskforce in Lords questions for government

16 October 2020

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At the start of business each day in the House of Lords, members question government activities and decisions in Lords Questions.

This week, from Monday 19 to Thursday 22 October, members challenge the government on the future of historic statues, armed forces personnel, Network Rail schemes and alms-houses for the elderly.

Catch up: Monday 19 October

Catch up: Tuesday 20 October

Catch up: Wednesday 21 October

Catch up: Thursday 22 October 


Catch up: Monday 19 October 


Baroness Deech (Crossbench) questioned the government on the future of historic statues in England. Members discussed subjects including a local authority’s role in deciding which statues best represent their communities and showing recognition of all of UK history.

Lord Alton of Liverpool (Crossbench) pressed the government about the costs of appealing the High Court decision of 19 December 2019 in 'Project for the Registration of Children as British Citizens versus Home Office'. Members discussed the costs of British citizenship, what happens to children who can’t afford the citizenship fees and the reasons for a self-funded immigration system.

Lord Bradshaw (Liberal Democrat) asked the government about provision of new rolling stock for rail services in the East Midlands. Members discussed freedom of speech and ensuring all public services are equipped to support trans people.

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath (Labour) questioned the government about the review of the Gender Recognition Act 2004. Members discussed topics including assigning a ministerial champion to help drive the project forward and developing East Midlands commuter travel beyond the three minute time improvement.


Catch up: Tuesday 20 October 


Lord Touhig (Labour) quizzed the government about helping armed forces personnel from Commonwealth countries to settle in the UK. Members discussed topics including support for Sikh communities in Afghanistan and visa fees.

Lord Rennard (Liberal Democrat) asked the government how the new cancer taskforce will operate. Members discussed investing into diagnostic equipment and support for cancer patients during the pandemic.

Lord Vaizey of Didcot (Conservative) quizzed the government on the impact on the retail and tourism sector from the decision to withdraw the VAT Retail Export scheme. Members discussed subjects including the impact of ending the scheme on culture, entertainment and visitor attractions.

Lord Ravensdale (Crossbench) asked the government about the report by the International Energy Agency World Energy Outlook 2020. Members discussed topics including engaging with the public on Net Zero and building new homes with low-carbon technology.

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath (Labour) asked a ‘private notice question’ on COVID-19: Track and Trace information. Members discussed topics including making the privacy implications clear to the public and how personal data being handled by the police will be stored.

Catch up: Wednesday 21 October 


Lord Berkeley (Labour) to questioned the government about the review of rail schemes in Network Rail’s enhancements pipeline and whether High Speed 2 will be subject to similar review. Members discussed topics including the costs of Network Rail and planning ahead to ensure a steady and consistent workload for the industry and its suppliers.

Lord German (Liberal Democrat) asked the government about the impact on prisons, prisoners, and those on remand of increasing the maximum period of remand in custody by eight weeks. Members discussed topics including waiting times for trial dates and the effect of long remand periods on a prisoner’s mental health.

The Earl of Clancarty (Crossbench) questioned the government about the reciprocal agreement on visa-free short-term travel mobility in negotiations for the UK’s departure from the EU. Members discussed topics including the benefits of visa-free short term stay in the EU for the development of UK science and sport.

Lord Woolley of Woodford (Crossbench) pressed the government on ensuring the national curriculum accurately reflects the diverse history of the UK. Members discussed topics including diversity amongst teaching staff and encouraging schools to select more books by black authors.


Catch up: Thursday 22 October 


Lord Kennedy of Southwark (Labour) will ask the government about the role of alms-houses in the provision of housing for the elderly. Members discussed topics including grants for almshouse charities and social care funding.

The Lord Bishop of Oxford (Bishop) questions the government on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the gig economy. Members discussed addressing late payment for goods and services and the effectiveness of the Self-employment Income Support Scheme.

Baroness Ritchie of Downpatrick (Non-affiliated) quizzes the government about the commission for Victims and Survivors for Northern Ireland and proposals to address the legacy of the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Members discussed topics including adapting a victim centred approach to investigations and recognising the sacrifices of the Royal Ulster Constabulary and armed forces.

Lord Touhig (Labour) will ask the government a question on military activities, deployments, and training halted to reduce number of armed forces personnel. Members discussed topics including returning land to the farming community by Sennybridge training centre and the role of armed forces in a peaceful, democratic society.

Baroness D'Souza (Crossbench) asks the government a ‘private notice question’ on representations to UAE government on repatriation of 18 former Guantanamo Bay detainees to Yemen. Members discussed topics including the UK’s role in standing up for human rights internationally.