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 22nd June
This was another week where the business was light, although there were a few important UQs and statements.
The day started with a statement on the Reading attacks from the Home Secretary. This is now the third Monday in a row she has given a statement in the Chamber. Alistair spoke for us.
After this, we moved onto the Extradition Bill, which passed with no amendments and was finished by 7pm (on Monday the business should normally end at 10pm).
Tuesday 23rd June
On Tuesday, the PM came to the House to announce upcoming changes on July 4. You will no doubt be aware of these, but he announced a reduction in the 2-metre distance in some circumstances and the opening of pubs. Our two grandees, Ed Davey and Alistair Carmichael asked the questions to the PM.
The most important part of the day, however, was on the motion on the Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme (ICGS). Rees-Mogg introduced a motion that would broadly implement the recommendations of the Cox review, giving independence to the ICGS to investigate historic and new bullying claims. Rees-Mogg wanted to include a clause that would allow MPs to debate these complaints on the floor of the House, which would allow for very sensitive cases to be discussed on live television. This would clearly be unacceptable and we opposed it. The Lib Dems supported the Chris Bryant motion to prevent any debate taking place and went a step further, tabling an amendment that would prevent MPs voting on any decision.
The Chris Bryant amendment passed by just 5 votes, all 11 Lib Dem MPs were crucial in getting this important change.
Wednesday 24th June
We did not have a hit at PMQs this week, instead, we spoke in the Westferry and NHS debate for the opposition day. Wera and Tim made important interventions in the Westferry debate and the Government did not oppose the humble address, which meant they had to publish several texts and emails for the public record. This story continues to develop.
Robert Jenrick personally intervened to give the go-ahead to Tory donor Richard Desmond's £1bn Westferry development scheme.- Tim Farron (@timfarron) June 24, 2020
Yet time and time again his department refuses to intervene when developers duck out of providing any affordable housing in places like the Lake District. pic.twitter.com/3nVBhwdSHJ
The second motion from Labour would have given weekly testing for NHS and social care workers. The Government chose to oppose this motion and it was defeated. The Lib Dems voted in support of Labour.
We did have another vote earlier in the day. Fiona Bruce MP opposed giving a bill that would ban demonstrations outside abortion clinics, second reading. These types of divisions are rare, and Fiona Bruce was comfortably defeated.
Thursday 25th June
The final day of the week was petitions debates. Two in fact; one on recognising and rewarding our Health and Social Care workers and one on support for UK industries. We had a number of our MPs on the call list to speak, but it was heavily oversubscribed and not all were able to speak.
"It's time to put money where our mouths are and actually reward frontline health and care staff" @munirawilson- Liberal Democrats (@LibDems) June 25, 2020
Add your name to support our Frontline Support Package ⬇️https://t.co/WgtZcwOGTR pic.twitter.com/S9Goy9cp7U
In case you missed it... thank you 👏@Jamie4North for making a stand in Parliament yesterday for #ForgottenLtd small businesses locked out of Gov support.We employ 7.5m. Job losses are mounting. @griffitha @DehennaDavison #GapsInSupport pic.twitter.com/rAnnDCp9bj- ForgottenLtd (@ForgottenLtd) June 26, 2020
Next week Rees-Mogg finally brings some important legislation to the House. On Monday we have the Business and Planning Bill, to legislate for the July 4 changes; on Tuesday we have report and third reading of the immigration bill and on Wednesday and Thursday we have the final stages of the finance bill.
Share your support by following @libdemwhips. Thanks for reading.