Welcome to the Weekly Whip. Your one-stop shop for Lib Dem Parliamentary updates, covering the week that was and the week to come.
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Monday 15th June
Despite the promise from Rees-Mogg that Parliament must return physically to get through the huge number of Bills the Government had, there was only one scheduled this week.
Monday had 4 Statutory Instruments that passed without a division. The most interesting part of the day was the Urgent Questions at the beginning.
Munira Wilson spoke for the party in the UQ on the 2-metre social distancing rule, and Christine spoke for us at the UQ on Public Order.
One UQ and one statement this afternoon.- Lib Dem Whips 🔶 (@LibDemWhips) June 15, 2020
1.UQ - publishing the review of the 2 metre social distancing rule. @munirawilson will respond for us.
2.Statement - Home Secretary - Public order update. @cajardineMP will ask the Home Sec a question.
Tuesday 16th June
On Tuesday, the PM came to the house to announce the abolition of DfID as a department. Given the importance of the announcement we hoped the PM would have actually provided detail behind the changes, he didn't, and it left many people wondering about the future of overseas development. Wendy spoke for us in the statement, but it would not be the last we would hear of it.
In the afternoon, the government provided us with another of their weekly u-turns. This time it was on free school meals over the Summer Holidays. The opposition day debate motion that Labour had scheduled was on this exact topic, and rather than face an embarrassing defeat in the Commons, the government conceded on the point before the debate. Layla spoke for us in the debate asking that we learned best practise from the Lib Dem Education Minister in Wales.
Wednesday 17th June
We had two questions at PMQs this week from Ed and Alistair. Ed asked about the Brexit extension and Alistair asked about food standards in the UK.
"In Britain's hour of need, will the Prime Minister put saving jobs before his Brexit ideology?" - Acting Leader @EdwardJDavey- Liberal Democrats (@LibDems) June 17, 2020
Liberal Democrats will continue to urge the Government to think again and extend the transition period.#PMQs pic.twitter.com/tKHHxPnYYN
The Government must not lower the UK's world-leading food standards just to get a trade deal with Donald Trump or anyone else. - @amcarmichaelMP- Liberal Democrats (@LibDems) June 17, 2020
The Liberal Democrats will stand up for British farmers and consumers across the country.#PMQs pic.twitter.com/cVD4AlGvon
The Prime Minister also did not realise that our longest continuous serving MP and former member of the Cabinet is a Lib Dem MP, not an SNP MP.
The Prime Minister thought Alistair Carmichael was an SNP MP.- Lib Dem Whips 🔶 (@LibDemWhips) June 17, 2020
This is an unusual mistake for the PM. He is renowned for his attention to detail. https://t.co/IVDInkx28V
In the afternoon we had the Divorce Bill. This was mostly Conservative backbenchers disagreeing with one another that Divorces should be made easier to reduce animosity.
A small number of Tory Backbenchers forced a division on one of their amendments but it lost by 31 votes to 400.
Thursday 18th June
Given the PM's vague answers about DfID on Tuesday, Wendy submitted an application for a UQ that was granted on Thursday. In the past month, we have had an Emergency debate and 2 UQs accepted putting us on an equal footing with the Labour Party. This is with only 11 MPs.
Wendy led the debate asking for clarity on a number of questions, most of which were not answered.
Following on from today's Urgent Question on the future of @DFID_UK I've now written to @DominicRaab detailing all of the issues I raised and asking for a full response. #SaveDFID pic.twitter.com/UyPFUJHA7u- Wendy Chamberlain MP 🔶️ (@wendychambLD) June 18, 2020
In the afternoon we had an important debate on the impact of Covid-19 on BAME communities. As our equality's spokesperson, Christine spoke for us. She made a moving speech in the chamber.
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