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Chris Grayling: I will make sure that my hon. Friend’s concerns are raised with Ministers. There will be a number of opportunities for these matters to be raised at oral questions and, should he so choose, in debates on upcoming Bills. Clearly, the issue could be looked at in some of the discussions on Treasury matters coming

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up in the next few days. I will make sure that his concerns are raised and give careful consideration to what he has said.

Keith Vaz (Leicester East) (Lab): When can we have the details of the arrangements for the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the House when he visits this country in the middle of November? I know that you, Mr Speaker, are very supportive of the visit of Mr Modi to the House. Following the successful visit of the President of China, it is important that we should treat the leader of the world’s largest democracy in a proper and appropriate way. That will be also be welcomed by constituents in Leicester East, which has the largest number of British Indians, and Harrow East, which has the second largest number of British Indians.

Chris Grayling: First, let me say on behalf of the Government and everyone in this House how much we are looking forward to Prime Minister Modi’s visit. India is a country with which we have long and historic ties. It is a close friend and ally. It is also, as the right hon. Gentleman said, the largest democracy in the world. This is a friendship that we should cherish and support and always seek to sustain. I hope and expect that when Prime Minister Modi comes to London, we, as the mother of Parliaments, the Government, and, indeed, the whole country will extend the warm welcome to him that he has every right to expect. This will provide an opportunity for us to mark the very real and important contribution that the Indian community has made to this country. It is a real opportunity to celebrate our ties and that contribution.

Bob Blackman (Harrow East) (Con): Further to the question asked by the right hon. Member for Leicester East (Keith Vaz)—I shall call him my right hon. Friend—about the visit of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, which you also referred to earlier this week, Mr Speaker, could we have a statement on the Floor of the House from a Foreign Office Minister on the arrangements, so that this country’s Indian diaspora can join Parliament in the celebrations? I am proud to represent the Indian diaspora in Harrow East and have no doubt that my right hon. Friend is proud to represent them in Leicester, too. Can we also note the fact that the Leader of the Opposition and the shadow Chancellor both sought to block a visa being issued to Narendra Modi only two years ago?

Chris Grayling: I am not sure about the exact mechanism you will choose, Mr Speaker—because it is first and foremost a matter for you and the Lord Speaker—to announce how this Parliament will receive the Prime Minister of India, but I know that the matter is very much on your minds. We expect to be able to give details to hon. Members shortly.

Mr Barry Sheerman (Huddersfield) (Lab/Co-op): May I ask the Leader of the House about proper celebrations of big anniversaries? It will be the centenary of Harold Wilson’s birth on 11 March and I hope we will be able to mark it appropriately.

May I also push the Leader of the House on the need for a debate about the importance of this country’s film industry? I was born near Shepperton studios and my brother and sister worked there. One of our neighbourhood

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friends, John Glen, left school at 14 and went on to direct some of the James Bond movies. I want to know who pays taxes in the film industry and where they pay them.

Chris Grayling: The British film industry plays an enormously important role in this country and has a great tradition. There are not that many major adventure movies that do not have some kind of footprint in this country. That is a great tribute to this country’s creative industry, and long should we cherish, support and be proud of it.

This House should note the anniversary of Harold Wilson’s birth, because he was another great figure in our politics. His wife, Lady Wilson, is still alive and I hope that, as we mark the occasion, we will also think of her and that the House will send a message to her about how much we value not only her husband’s contribution to the country, but her personal contribution during his years as Prime Minister.

John Glen (Salisbury) (Con): May I just make it clear to the House that, as much as I enjoy watching them, I have no association with James Bond films?

Yesterday we heard that comments made in this House formed part of a campaign that undermined a police investigation. Will my right hon. Friend grant time for a debate on the issue of how hon. Members conduct themselves in such serious matters?

Chris Grayling: My hon. Friend makes a very serious point. I heard the remarks made in the Home Affairs Committee yesterday, but the conduct that has been unveiled in the past few days is nothing less than shocking. From time to time, every one of us is presented with difficult information that may or may not have substance. Of course, we have a duty to ensure that that information is followed through properly, but this country has a fundamental principle of people being innocent until they are proven guilty. For any Member of this House, let alone one who holds high office in his party, to make public statements about innocence and guilt before the evidence has even been assessed properly is shocking and betrays the principles of this House. I hope and believe that the relevant organisations in this House that can take a look at this matter will do so with great seriousness.

Lady Hermon (North Down) (Ind): May I urge the Leader of the House to make time to discuss the very serious and sensitive issue of why successive British Governments have failed to secure compensation for the victims of Libyan-sponsored IRA violence not just in Northern Ireland, but throughout the United Kingdom, including the Harrods bombing? This really sensitive issue should be discussed on the Floor of the House.

Chris Grayling: I understand the seriousness of the hon. Lady’s point. It is a genuine issue and there are tragic stories behind her question. I will ensure that her concerns are raised with my colleagues in the Foreign Office, and I suggest that she considers bringing this subject to the House, through either a Backbench Business Committee debate or an Adjournment debate, so that she can raise it directly with the Minister responsible.

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Pauline Latham (Mid Derbyshire) (Con): May we have a debate on the NHS providing a purpose-built national centre of excellence to treat rare diseases such as epidermolysis bullosa?

Chris Grayling: My hon. Friend raises an important point, and I hope that the work being done in this country to develop an understanding of genetics, and to develop gene-based treatments for some of the most difficult and rare diseases, will make progress and help provide solutions to sufferers. I am confident that we will make real progress through the high-quality research being done in this country to tackle many diseases. I encourage my hon. Friend to return to this issue so that we do not take our foot off the gas in relation to research that makes such a difference to so many people.

Alex Salmond (Gordon) (SNP): I caution the Leader of the House against the idea from Labour Members about a celebration of the battle of Agincourt in parliamentary terms, since Scotland was basically on the other side—if I remember correctly, it was assisting a rebellion by progressive forces in England against the Lancastrian autocracy of Henry V.

On current military engagements, why is there no statement on developments in Syria? There are 12 combatant countries in Syria, and the Prime Minister, Foreign Secretary and Defence Secretary want Britain to be the unlucky No. 13. The new Canadian Government have withdrawn from military operations in Syria, and there has been not a single Government reaction or comment—not even a tweet—about that development. Does that silence speak volumes about a Government who regard military intervention as a substitute for political and diplomatic strategy?

Chris Grayling: We do not regard military intervention as a substitute for diplomatic strategy. The Government take military action only in extreme circumstances, and when it is essential and the right thing to do. Should we choose to take any sort of military action in the future we have committed to discuss the matter with the House, and should such circumstances arise, we will of course do so.

Mr Ian Liddell-Grainger (Bridgwater and West Somerset) (Con): We have a crisis in Avon and Somerset policing. Our police and crime commissioner has not had a chief constable for nearly her entire tenure. She has lost the confidence of the police and of MPs, and we have no mechanism to get rid of this person. We need a debate in Government time to decide on a mechanism for getting rid of PCCs who are not up to the job, are not capable of the job, and have not got the intellectual rigour to do it.

Chris Grayling: I understand my hon. Friend’s point, and there will be such a debate, not in the Chamber, not in Government time, but over the next five months. I hope that we as Conservatives will put forward a better strategy for policing in that area, and that we will win the election next May.

Paul Farrelly (Newcastle-under-Lyme) (Lab): Illegal, large-scale waste dumping is a growing worry in north Staffordshire and east Cheshire, and the activities of

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one haulage company—Frizells, which is based in Crewe— are of particular recent concern. May we have a debate on the effectiveness of the Environment Agency in licensing, monitoring, and enforcing the law on the dumping of waste materials?

Chris Grayling: This issue causes concern in a number of places. Just before the election I visited the constituency of my hon. Friend the Member for Thurrock (Jackie Doyle-Price), where we saw an extraordinary 1 km long illegal dump at the side of the Thames. It was absolutely shocking, and if the hon. Gentleman’s constituency has suffered anything like that, I understand his frustration. If local councils are on the ball, they have powers to be tough about such issues. Where they have not been tough, the problem is much exacerbated. My advice is for the hon. Gentleman to talk to his local council and ensure that it uses the powers available.

Michael Tomlinson (Mid Dorset and North Poole) (Con): Will the Leader of the House make time for an urgent debate, in Government time, on parliamentary privilege, to ensure that it is not abused by any hon. Member?

Chris Grayling: This is an issue to which the House will want to return, perhaps through the Backbench Business Committee. We must not make the same mistake that perhaps some hon. Members have made in relation to putting guilt before innocence. There is due process. A Select Committee inquiry is taking place and there may well be another one. I believe there may also have been a referral to the Standards Committee. We need to let that process take shape. Every single Member of this House must remember that whatever information comes to us, people outside are innocent until proven guilty. We must conduct ourselves accordingly.

Several hon. Members rose

Mr Speaker: Order. As always, I am keen, if possible, to accommodate all colleagues, but the pressure on time is very real. The House will not be surprised to learn that the subsequent debate is very heavily subscribed, the consequence of which is that there is now a premium on brevity from Back Benchers and Front Benchers alike. We can be led in our important mission of brevity by Mr Thomas Brake.

Tom Brake (Carshalton and Wallington) (LD): Will the Leader of the House make time available for a full debate on the future of St Helier hospital, which I know he would welcome? In response to a question I put to the Chancellor, he said the Government will support the project. Subsequently, I received a letter from the Secretary of State for Health who said that he will not.

Chris Grayling: The future of local hospital services is indeed very close to my heart, since St Helier is part of a trust that includes Epsom hospital. My prime concern is to make sure we retain services in our areas that are right for our constituents. I want them to have first-class services and I want the right treatments to be available to them. The right hon. Gentleman can be absolutely sure that I will continue to monitor carefully

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the future of the trust. He will have the opportunity to raise the question directly with the Chancellor at Treasury questions next week.

Henry Smith (Crawley) (Con): May we have a debate on civilian use of remote-controlled aircraft or unmanned aerial vehicles near major airports such as Gatwick, as they pose an increasing safety risk and a potential security risk?

Chris Grayling: This is a very significant issue. The availability of drones is now making this a very real problem. The Civil Aviation Authority is looking at it carefully at the moment. Transport questions will be next Thursday and I encourage my hon. Friend to make sure Ministers keep focused on this issue.

Alex Cunningham (Stockton North) (Lab): People in my constituency and the surrounding constituencies are worried that hospital services are being reduced in our area. May we have a debate on the ill-founded proposal from NHS England to transfer neo-natal services from the high performing North Tees hospital to the South Tees hospital, which currently has major performance problems?

Chris Grayling: As somebody who has always been concerned about hospital services in my area, I understand the hon. Gentleman’s point. Given the structure of the health service, I have found it most helpful to engage local GPs in a discussion. Indeed, I have found them very useful allies in ensuring that the local service configuration remains what people want.

Philip Davies (Shipley) (Con): You know better than anybody, Mr Speaker, that one of my favourite days of the year in this House is when we debate international women’s day. On 19 November, it is international men’s day. In the interests of gender equality, which I know many Members take very seriously, will the Leader of the House agree to a debate in this Chamber on international men’s day, just as we have a debate on international women’s day?

Chris Grayling: I congratulate my hon. Friend on being such an effective champion of equality in this House. I was not aware of international men’s day, but I will look very carefully at the suggestion he makes.

Mary Glindon (North Tyneside) (Lab): The draft guidance released by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence not to approve Translarna was devastating news for the boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy who need still to be able to walk in order to access the treatment. Will the Leader of the House seek a statement from the Department of Health, or even allocate time for a debate, on Translarna?

Chris Grayling: It is always a difficult balance when new drugs come on stream. The role of NICE is to evaluate whether such drugs really can make the difference that is sometimes suggested by those producing them. That can often lead to very difficult, unhappy and challenging decisions. We, as politicians, are not really in a position to judge the rights and the wrongs of the effectiveness of drugs. What I will always do is ensure that such concerns are raised with my right hon. Friend

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the Secretary of State, so that he is aware of them. I am only too well aware of what a terrible disease this is. A number of children in my constituency are affected and, like the hon. Lady, I want them to receive the best possible treatment, but of course NICE has to take difficult decisions as well.

Mr Stewart Jackson (Peterborough) (Con): May we have a debate on first wave academies? The Voyager academy in Walton, Peterborough, administered by the Comberton academy trust, recorded catastrophic GCSE results last summer—19% grades A* to E—but nevertheless the regional commissioner has failed to take proper action to remove the trust sponsors. Will my right hon. Friend have a word with our right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education to encourage her to use her powers to intervene and sack failing academies for the benefit of my constituents in Walton and across Peterborough?

Chris Grayling: I will indeed do that. The measures passing through both Houses at the moment are designed to make sure we can deal with failing schools as effectively as possible. It is important that we celebrate the success of our education system while being willing to act when it is not there. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State will be before the House on Monday, and I encourage my hon. Friend to raise this issue then as well.

Alison Thewliss (Glasgow Central) (SNP): The Leader of the House will be aware that the air accident investigations branch is publishing a report tomorrow on the Clutha helicopter crash in Glasgow, in which 10 people lost their lives on 29 November 2013. Will he grant a debate on this tragedy and the report on the lessons to be learned from it, particularly given the implications for the safety of helicopters?

Chris Grayling: I caution Members to wait for the report to come out. It was a tragic incident and lessons must absolutely be learned, but let us wait for the report. If lessons or questions arise from it that need to be discussed in the House, those in the Department for Transport and I will give careful consideration to how that can best be done.

Mr Alan Mak (Havant) (Con): NatWest bank in my constituency is planning to close its Hayling Island branch. This follows closures in Leigh Park and Emsworth. Will the Leader of the House grant a debate on bank branch closures? Banks must remain at the heart of our successful and booming high streets.

Chris Grayling: Having experienced several bank closures in my own constituency recently, I understand my hon. Friend’s point. Of course, most of us now bank online, so branches are not always viable, but they can be a central part of a local high street and community. The responsible Treasury Minister is before the House on Tuesday, and I encourage my hon. Friend to make his point then so that we can do everything possible to preserve local banking.

Jonathan Edwards (Carmarthen East and Dinefwr) (PC): Now that the Ministry of Justice consultation on proposed court closures in Wales and England has

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closed, may we have a debate in Government time, or at least an oral statement, so that those of us who have significant concerns about the effect of these proposals on the communities we represent can put them on the record?

Chris Grayling: I will ensure that that point is made to my right hon. Friend the Lord Chancellor. Of course, these are difficult decisions, and I am sure he will want to make sure he gives hon. Members on both sides the opportunity to raise their concerns with him.

Jason McCartney (Colne Valley) (Con): Love the Lorry week starts on Monday, and the Road Haulage Association estimates that 45,000 drivers will retire in the next few years, causing an acute shortage of drivers. May we have a debate on the state of our road haulage industry?

Chris Grayling: I know that this is a matter of great concern to my right hon. and hon. Friends in the Department for Transport. I hope that the Government’s focus on apprenticeships will provide a vehicle to bring more people into this important industry, which is a lifeline for many businesses in the country. We must do everything we can to ensure a steady flow of new drivers.

Neil Gray (Airdrie and Shotts) (SNP): Will the Leader of the House make a statement on the costs of the options appraisal report on the Palace of Westminster refurbishment works? I politely remind him that I requested this information from him on 9 July. Perhaps he could furnish colleagues with that information in a written or oral statement.

Chris Grayling: It is technically a matter for the House of Commons Commission to release that information, to which he will have access as a member of the Committee of both Houses that is studying these issues. As co-Chair of that Committee, I do not want any secrecy around what we are doing; I want it to be transparent. I have a simple goal: to deliver a solution that protects the integrity and historic nature of the building but in a way that causes minimal disruption to the workings of Parliament and offers the best possible value for the taxpayer.

Rehman Chishti (Gillingham and Rainham) (Con): There are communities in the middle east facing persecution for their beliefs, including the Baha’is and Yazidis in Iraq, but there are also good examples of tolerance and co-existence, such as in Bahrain. In the capital, Manama, there are 19 churches, three Hindu temples and a synagogue, all within close proximity to one another. This shows tolerance and freedom. May we have an urgent debate on the Floor of the House to discuss religious freedom and—a point I made earlier—the Baha’is in Iran.

Chris Grayling: Religious persecution, wherever it takes place, is utterly and totally unacceptable. I think we should all be particularly distressed at the moment at the way in which minority religions—Christian, Yazidi and others—are being treated so brutally by ISIL. If ever there were a justification for what we are seeking to

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do in the military action we are taking in Iraq, it would be the sight of what happened to the Yazidi community and the extraordinarily brutal way in which young women have been taken as sex slaves. That is a kind of evil that we should always stand up against.

Paul Flynn (Newport West) (Lab): When can we debate early-day motion 599?

[That this House judges the Chinese investment in Hinkley Point C to be an act of desperation to rescue the failed EPR design after all prudent investors, including Centrica, have fled; is appalled by catastrophic delays and financial losses at all other EPR reactors; notes that Flamanville is six years late and costs had tripled to 10.5 billion euros and the Finnish EPR is seven years late and four billion euros over budget; and believes gifting China with unparalleled rights over UK nuclear development will seriously debilitate the UK’s future economy.]

It deals with the disastrous record of EPR nuclear reactors, none of which works. One is five years late, the other seven years late; one €4 billion over budget and the other €10 billion over budget. As all the sensible investors have fled from the Hinkley Point future disaster, should not Chinese investment be judged for what it is—a cynical sprat to catch the mackerel of control in perpetuity of the British nuclear industry, which will greatly debilitate the future economy and rob us of future jobs?

Chris Grayling: No, I do not believe that to be the case. The first thing to say, of course, is that this project is being led by the French. Let me remind the hon. Gentleman that one reason why we do not have a nuclear power station building capability in this country is that, under last Labour Government, Gordon Brown sold it.

Chris Green (Bolton West) (Con): Will the Leader of the House allow MPs the opportunity to discuss the proper role of parliamentary privilege and whether it has been abused under a partisan campaign by any Member of this House?

Chris Grayling: I should apologise for not answering the question from the shadow Leader of the House about the Privileges Committee, which is due to be set up in the next few days. Members will know that it tends to mirror the Standards Committee in that the parliamentary Members are the same. The Standards Committee has to be established before the Privileges Committee can be. As I say, the Privileges Committee is due to be set up in the next few days and, by the sound of it and from experience of its work, it has quite a big project still ahead of it.

Ian Paisley (North Antrim) (DUP): I would like to associate myself and my party with the fine tribute you paid, Mr Speaker, to Michael Meacher. I am sure that the high esteem in which he was held across the entire House will be of some comfort to his family.

When a statement is brought forward about the recent visit—successful visit—by the President of the People’s Republic of China, will the Leader of the House ensure that some comment is made about our agri-food trade with the country? Many promises have been made over the years to include pork and other food produce being

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exported to China, but very little has been delivered. Will the right hon. Gentleman ensure that some comment is made and that the matter is urgently brought to the attention of the Prime Minister during the current talks?

Chris Grayling: I will most certainly ensure that the attention of the Prime Minister and his office is brought to this. We are keen to find all avenues for expanding our trade—both with China and, indeed, other international partners such as India, which is why we are looking forward so much, among other reasons, to the visit of the Indian Prime Minister. I take on board the hon. Gentleman’s point, and will make sure that it is drawn to the Prime Minister’s attention.

Andrew Bridgen (North West Leicestershire) (Con): I have recently been informed that the annual inflation rate in the transport construction sector is around 19%, while general inflation is running at zero. This is because of the threat of HS2, sucking up all the required materials and labour for future years. May we have a debate about the impact of the HS2 project on the cost of improvements to conventional rail and other infrastructure projects going forward?

Chris Grayling: My hon. Friend raises an important point. I will make sure that my right hon. Friend the Transport Secretary is aware of his concerns. I have to say that this a challenge of success rather than failure. This Government are spending substantial amounts of money on infrastructure. If we are creating demand problems, they will, I hope, create an opportunity for new businesses to emerge to service that work. I think we should be proud that we are delivering infrastructure improvements to this country—something that it has waited for much too long.

Helen Jones (Warrington North) (Lab): Will the Leader of the House find time for a debate on freedom of speech in the workplace? Given that cleaners working for contractors in the Foreign Office have been disciplined for what is seen as the “crime” of asking for a living wage, will the right hon. Gentleman arrange for the Foreign Secretary to attend that debate so that we can express our dismay at what has happened? Will he draw this to the attention of other Ministers to ensure that no contractors working in Government offices treat their workers in this way in future?

Chris Grayling: I can only speak as a Minister, but I would not countenance circumstances in which anyone working in my Department was unable to raise concerns about their terms and conditions. I do not know the details of the situation in the Foreign Office, but I know my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary very well, and I am sure that he shares my view.

Wendy Morton (Aldridge-Brownhills) (Con): Would my right hon. Friend consider granting a debate on parliamentary privilege, given that comments made by an hon. Member have formed part of what a serving police officer has called a “baseless witch-hunt”?

Chris Grayling: I think that the extraordinary situation that the House faces over the conduct of the hon. Gentleman will prompt a general debate in the House

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about the behaviour of Members of Parliament and the way in which privilege works and is used. I also think that, most immediately, it is important for the individual case to be dealt with, and I am confident that it will be, but once that has happened we shall have to ask some serious questions about what has taken place, especially in view of the fact that it has been carried out by someone with such a senior rank in the House.

Callum McCaig (Aberdeen South) (SNP): On Tuesday next week, a statutory instrument, the Onshore Hydraulic Fracturing (Protected Areas) Regulations 2015, will be discussed. It would allow fracking wells to be drilled through protected groundwater source areas, which I think would horrify a number of Members. Will the Leader of the House arrange for the debate to take place in the Chamber, so that all Members can take part in it?

Chris Grayling: In a previous role, I was the Minister responsible for the Health and Safety Executive, which is in turn responsible for safety standards throughout our energy industry. I believe, and the Government believe, that fracking is a necessary part of providing a sustainable supply of energy for the future, but we also believe that we have world-leading standards of safety in works through the industry. For those reasons, I simply do not share the hon. Gentleman’s concern.

Mr Robin Walker (Worcester) (Con): With Trafalgar day just past, I am sure that Members in all parts of the House will welcome the launch of the Joining Forces credit union, which will offer affordable credit products to people serving in our armed forces, to veterans, and to those people’s families. Will the Leader of the House provide time for a debate so that Members throughout the House can draw attention to the availability of the new credit union, and will he join me in paying tribute to the hon. Member for Harrow West (Mr Thomas) and our hon. Friend the Member for East Hampshire (Damian Hinds) for their long campaign to secure a credit union for the armed forces?

Chris Grayling: What we learn about during sessions such as this is the great work done by individual Members of Parliament to make a difference. That gives the lie to what was said earlier by the hon. Member for Perth and North Perthshire (Pete Wishart) about the attitude of our party. What we have in our party is a group of representatives of their constituencies who work to make a difference both for local groups and for those who have served our country, and we should be proud of those efforts.

Jonathan Reynolds (Stalybridge and Hyde) (Lab/Co-op): May we have a further statement on Government policy as it relates to Syrian refugees? I have constituents who were born in the United Kingdom, but whose parents and sister are Syrian nationals still trapped in Syria. My constituents can support their parents here in the UK without any recourse to public funds, and normally they would simply apply for a visa, but Syria clearly does not represent a normal set of circumstances. Will the Leader of the House make some inquiries within the Government, and perhaps send me in writing any advice that I can pass on to my constituents?

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Chris Grayling: I will certainly pass on the hon. Gentleman’s concerns to the Home Office. What he has said, however, shows why it is so important that we are supporting refugees in the neighbouring countries and providing a refuge for a number of refugees from the camps there, rather than simply taking some of those who have been strong enough and able enough to find their way to Europe.

Mr Nigel Evans (Ribble Valley) (Con): Recent events involving the use of parliamentary privilege when serious allegations have been made clearly serve as a cautionary tale for all of us in the House when we name individuals, but it is also clear to anyone who reads the books written by Paul Gambaccini and Jim Davidson that an investigation carried out in the full glare of publicity makes the terror and trauma worse. May we have a statement from the Home Office about what action may be taken to protect those against whom allegations are made?

Chris Grayling: My hon. Friend makes an important point, and one that he perhaps more than anyone in this House understands well. It is important that we have a police force with the freedom to take actions in the interests of justice. I think of the case of Stuart Hall, where allegations that appeared to be questionable initially proved to be very serious and very substantial once his name entered the public arena. I was brought up in a world where the reporting tended to be, “A 30-year-old man is helping police with inquiries,” not the publishing of the full details of the person arrested. Unless our police forces, and indeed all involved in our criminal justice system, are absolutely certain that there is very good reason for putting the name of a suspect into the public arena, they need to think very long and hard before doing so. That lesson needs to be at the heart of the way in which this House behaves, but clearly in recent times it has not been.

Jeff Smith (Manchester, Withington) (Lab): The Government have made a number of attacks since the election in May on support for green energy. In the light of reports this morning that our current emissions targets may be insufficient to meet the challenge on global warming, may we have a debate in Government time on support for sustainable energy?

Chris Grayling: In the past few months the level of electricity generation from sustainable sources in this country has passed 25%. That is far in excess of anything that was envisaged in the early days by the previous Labour Government, so I do not think we have anything to be embarrassed about in our record on sustainable and renewable energy. Also, in a week when the Labour party has been complaining of the high energy costs faced by our steel producers, it is surely right and proper that we in this country do not seek to impose on consumers an ever higher burden of support from either the taxpayer or from bill payers without recognition of the impact that that can have.

Andrew Stephenson (Pendle) (Con): Following the questions raised by my hon. Friends the Members for Salisbury (John Glen), for Mid Dorset and North Poole (Michael Tomlinson), for Bolton West (Chris Green), for Ribble Valley (Mr Evans) and others, it is clear to

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the Leader of the House that many hon. Members wish to have a debate on parliamentary privilege, particularly when we now hear that comments made in this House led to an unlawful interview and what has been described as a baseless witch hunt.

Chris Grayling: I can see that feelings on this issue are very strong. It is important to allow the Select Committee to do its work first, but I will take the comments of hon. Members away today and think about how best to address them. These are very serious and important matters. When we have such a clear example of questionable conduct in this House, we clearly have to learn the lessons from it.

Kirsten Oswald (East Renfrewshire) (SNP): The Ministry of Defence’s latest published list of military assets includes jets officially retired in 1993 and grounded helicopters and tanks retired in the mid-1990s. Clearly it would be dangerous to rely on this information, so may we have a statement or debate in Government time on the UK’s real military capability?

Chris Grayling: I suspect that it is as simple as the armed forces retaining old equipment for training purposes. That is what happens at airports for fire crews and in training in a variety of fields. The hon. Lady is perhaps seeing things that are not actually present.

Tom Pursglove (Corby) (Con): The crisis facing the steel industry has brought into sharp focus the importance of buying British products. May we have a full debate in Government time on how procurement policy across Government can better help our industries and give them a welcome boost?

Chris Grayling: My hon. Friend is absolutely right and in the case of steel we have worked hard to do that already. I am pleased that 97% of the contracts for steel for Crossrail, the biggest engineering project in Europe, have gone to British sources. It is important that we continue to focus our procurement policy, where we possibly can, on local sourcing and the support of local business. I commit absolutely to that being at the heart of what the Government are trying to do, particularly in what has happened to our steel industry.

Steve McCabe (Birmingham, Selly Oak) (Lab): Since the Leader of the House is so confident about his Government’s record on sustainable energy, may we have a debate on Government plans to cut energy feed-in tariffs and the reports that that will cost us 20,000 jobs, devastate the rooftop solar industry and lead to 1 million fewer solar panel installations by 2020? That is not very green or efficient.

Chris Grayling: We take decisions on the basis of what is workable and affordable, and we will see whether the impact of the policy is quite what the hon. Gentleman suggests.

Marion Fellows (Motherwell and Wishaw) (SNP): On Tuesday, the Business Secretary failed to mention the Scottish steel industry once in answering an urgent question on job losses in the industry. Will the Leader of the House now secure an urgent debate in Government

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time on the future of the industry in Scotland, so that we can hold this Government to account for the promises made but not delivered?

Chris Grayling: Of course, when we talk about the international challenges facing this country, we are referring to the UK as a whole. That is a given. Many aspects of the way in which we as a Government interact with the steel industry are devolved. Transport is an example. It is disappointing that, while we are working hard in England and Wales to ensure that we source as much steel for transport projects as possible from local suppliers, the same has not happened in Scotland, whose own Administration have responsibility in this area.

Andrew Gwynne (Denton and Reddish) (Lab): The reply from the Leader of the House to my hon. Friend the Member for Worsley and Eccles South (Barbara Keeley) made it quite clear that he did not understand the issues surrounding the state pensions of ladies born in the 1950s. May I politely suggest that he meet representatives of Women Against State Pension Inequality, in order to understand that they are not against the equalisation of the state pension age, but that this is an equality issue? Those women have been clobbered not once but twice, and there is no transition. When he has met them, will he change his mind about having a debate on the matter?

Chris Grayling: I have already had discussions with people who are affected, and I understand why they are frustrated, but the Government have to take difficult decisions about transitions and increasing the state pension age. That is what took place under the previous Government, and it is taking place under this Government. When life expectancy rises sharply—which is good—we have to raise the state pension age, and we have to take difficult decisions about how to do that.

Alan Brown (Kilmarnock and Loudoun) (SNP): Since I was elected in May, 44 new Lords have been sworn in to the other place, despite this Government’s pledge to cut the cost of politics. Given that, yesterday, even the hon. Member for North East Somerset (Mr Rees-Mogg) expressed his concern about the performance of the other place, will the Leader of the House now agree, on the second time of asking, to bring forward a debate in Government time on the merits, performance and value for money of the other place—because we might now all agree on abolition?

Chris Grayling: We are definitely back to the status quo, following the brief glimpse of support for the other place from the hon. Member for Perth and North Perthshire (Pete Wishart). This issue has been debated exhaustively in recent years. There have been at least three debates on it since I was elected, and there have been discussions in the other place. I have no doubt that the other place will in due course have further thoughts about how it should evolve and develop, but this Government’s greater priority at the moment is to sort out our economic challenges and address some of the other issues that our nation is facing. Frankly, reform of the House of Lords is not at the top of our priority list right now.

22 Oct 2015 : Column 1156

Points of Order

12.12 pm

Chris Bryant (Rhondda) (Lab): On a point of order, Mr Speaker. The Leader of the House was absolutely right to refer earlier to the tragedy of Aberfan, the anniversary of which was yesterday, but may I gently point out to him that it took place 49 years ago, not 50? The 50th anniversary will be next year, and I hope, having heard his comments, that we will be commemorating it properly in the House at that time.

The Leader of the House also made a mistake about the Standards Committee and the Privileges Committee. This is an important matter, because several pieces of business urgently need to go to the Privileges Committee. He said that the membership of the Standards Committee and that of the Privileges Committee were the same, but that is not true. The Standards Committee is already set up, although it has just lost a member. A Conservative Member had to resign because they had not fully declared their earnings. That Committee has lay members, but the Privileges Committee does not. There is absolutely no reason why the Privileges Committee could not have been set up already, and it is the job of the Leader of the House to make sure that that happens as a matter of urgency.

The Leader of the House of Commons (Chris Grayling): Further to that point of order, Mr Speaker. I used the word “mirror”, and the point I was making was that the Standards Committee has now moved from having 10 members to having seven. The debate with the new Chairman of the Privileges Committee has been about whether we also reduce the membership of that Committee from 10 to seven. That will happen, in order to mirror the membership of the Standards Committee, which now has seven parliamentary members. The Committee will now be set up, and it clearly has some work to do.

Paul Farrelly (Newcastle-under-Lyme) (Lab) rose—

Mr Speaker: Order. I will come to the hon. Gentleman. I am saving him for a suitable point.

I shall briefly respond to the point of order made by the hon. Member for Rhondda (Chris Bryant) and to the response from the Leader of the House. It is of course a matter of fact that the Privileges Committee will not contain lay members. The House has made its own judgment on that matter. It is also a matter of fact that it falls to the Government to take the lead in the establishment of that Committee. It is not a matter for the Chair. It is further a matter of fact—noted by the hon. Member for Rhondda and accepted by the Leader of the House—that that Committee will have a substantial amount of work to do, and that a certain urgency attaches to it. Some of that work hails from matters that came to the attention of the House—and received much wider scrutiny in the media elsewhere—up to four years ago. It is therefore essential that that Committee be established soon. I have every confidence that the Leader of the House will now expedite the matter without any further delay.

Paul Farrelly: On a point of order, Mr Speaker. I have given notice to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport that I shall be raising this point of order.

22 Oct 2015 : Column 1157

Following the phone hacking scandal and the Leveson inquiry, the House agreed a package of measures to strengthen the independent self-regulation of the press. They included sections 40 to 42 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013, which were designed to create an incentive to join a recognised regulator and to protect public interest journalism in libel and privacy cases. However, those measures still need a commencement order from the Government. In a speech to the Society of Editors this week, the Secretary of State said:

“I am not convinced the time is right for the introduction of these costs provisions”.

This is a major change of stance by the Government over a key Leveson recommendation, and arguably one that thwarts the will of the House, yet it was not announced here in the Chamber or during questioning in front of the Select Committee last month. What steps can we, and you Mr Speaker, take to ensure that the Secretary of State makes such announcements to the House first, rather than doing so outside, to a favoured captive audience?

Mr Speaker: I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his point of order, and for his courtesy in giving me notice of it. On the basis of what he has told me in writing, I have to tell him that it is not for me to conclude whether there has been a change of policy or not. I leave others to make that judgment. However, it is a long-established principle in this place that if a Minister has a policy announcement to make, that announcement should first be made to the House. The Minister concerned will therefore have to consider whether he or she believes that a change is involved, and to draw the appropriate conclusions. The hon. Gentleman is a sufficiently adroit and dextrous Member of the House to be well aware, if

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he is dissatisfied with the development of events in the coming days, of the toolkit available to Members to draw the urgent attention of the House to a matter that they believe warrants its consideration.

Owen Smith (Pontypridd) (Lab): On a point of order, Mr Speaker. May I ask for your guidance on how we might secure an opportunity for the House to question the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions about the desperately inadequate response to the Work and Pensions Select Committee report on the extraordinarily important issue of benefit sanctions? The response has been snuck out this morning in a written statement, it is four months late, and it does not appear to address any of the principal recommendations. In particular, it does not address the recommendation on an independent review into the matter of those people who have died while subject to benefit sanctions. That is an extraordinarily shoddy way for the Government to behave. May I also ask for guidance on whether the Select Committee might, under the new Back-Bench business procedures, seek time to debate the issue and question the Secretary of State on why he has snuck out this response and why it is so poor?

Mr Speaker: Certainly, Backbench Business Committee debates can take place, and the hon. Gentleman requires no encouragement from me on that front. More widely, I note that he is a most assiduous member of the shadow Cabinet and that he is somewhat of a highbrow academic type. He will therefore know perfectly well what the opportunities are to air matters in the House. I have a hunch that he simply wanted a prime-time opportunity to tweak the Government’s tail. I know that he would not think it right to abuse his privileges as a Member on the Front Bench, however. These matters can be aired on a subsequent occasion, but time is pressing and we will leave it there for today.


22 Oct 2015 : Column 1159

Standing Orders (Public Business)

[Relevant documents: First Report from the Procedure Committee, Government proposals for English votes for English lawsStanding Orders: interim report, HC 410; Oral evidence taken before the Scottish Affairs Committee on 8 September and 13 October 2015, onEnglish votes for English laws, HC 399; Written ministerial statement issued on 20 October 2015, on Government proposals for English votesfor English laws Standing Orders: Interim report (First report of Session 2015-16 HC 410)GovernmentResponse.]

Mr Speaker: We now come to the main business, which is a motion in the name of the Leader of the House on the Standing Orders (Public Business). Under the Order of the House agreed on Tuesday, the debate may continue till 4 pm, when the Chair must put the questions necessary to dispose of proceedings on the motion, including the questions on any amendments selected, which may then be moved. A list of the amendments that I have selected for debate has been circulated.

We shall proceed—I hope this is helpful to the House—as follows. The Leader of the House will open the debate and move the motion in his name. The debate will then take place on the main motion. Those Members whose amendments have been selected may speak to those amendments in the debate, but they will not be called to move them formally until the end of the debate. The House will then have an opportunity to decide on the amendments moved in sequence, and finally to decide the main motion either as it stands or as amended. I hope that colleagues will feel that the choreography of this matter is now clear, and it should lend itself to the efficient management of the time available.

12.21 pm

The Leader of the House of Commons (Chris Grayling): I beg to move,

That

(1) The following new Standing Orders and changes to Standing Orders be made:

“CERTIFICATION OF BILLS, CLAUSES AND SCHEDULES ETC: GENERAL

83J. Certification of bills etc. as relating exclusively to England or England and Wales and being within devolved legislative competence

(1) The Speaker shall, before second reading-

(a) consider every public bill presented by a Minister of the Crown or brought from the Lords and taken up by a Minister of the Crown, and

(b) certify any such bill, or any clause or schedule of any such bill, which, in the Speaker’s opinion-

(i) relates exclusively to England or to England and Wales, and

(ii) is within devolved legislative competence.

(2) A clause or schedule relates exclusively to England or to England and Wales if (disregarding any minor or consequential effects outside the area in question) it applies only to England or (as the case may be) to England and Wales.

(3) A clause or schedule which relates exclusively to England is within devolved legislative competence if-

(a) it would be within the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament to make any corresponding provision for Scotland in an Act of that Parliament,

(b) it would be within the legislative competence of the National Assembly for Wales to make any corresponding provision for Wales in an Act of that Assembly, or

22 Oct 2015 : Column 1160

(c) it would be within the legislative competence of the Northern Ireland Assembly to make any corresponding provision for Northern Ireland in an Act of that Assembly and the corresponding provision would deal with a transferred matter.

(4) A clause or schedule which relates exclusively to England and Wales is within devolved legislative competence if-

(a) it would be within the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament to make any corresponding provision for Scotland in an Act of that Parliament, or

(b) it would be within the legislative competence of the Northern Ireland Assembly to make any corresponding provision for Northern Ireland in an Act of that Assembly and the corresponding provision would deal with a transferred matter.

(5) A bill-

(a) relates exclusively to England and is within devolved legislative competence if every clause and every schedule of it relates exclusively to England and is within devolved legislative competence;

(b) relates exclusively to England and Wales and is within devolved legislative competence if every clause and every schedule of it relates exclusively to England and Wales and is within devolved legislative competence.

(6) In deciding whether a bill relates exclusively to England or to England and Wales, the Speaker shall treat any clause or schedule whose only effects are minor or consequential effects outside the area in question as relating exclusively to that area.

(7) In deciding whether a clause or schedule is within devolved legislative competence, the Speaker may take account of any amendments to the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales or the Northern Ireland Assembly which-

(a) are not in force at the time of certification, but

(b) are to come into force on a day already fixed by law,

if the Speaker considers that the clause or schedule is itself only likely to come into force on or after that day; and, for this purpose, an amendment which is in force but applies only in relation to a future period of time (or a clause or schedule which is likely to come into force but so apply) is to be treated as not being in force (or as not likely to come into force) until the start of that period (being a day already fixed by law).

(8) In deciding whether to certify a bill, clause or schedule under this order, the Speaker-

(a) may consult two members of the Panel of Chairs who are appointed for this purpose by the Committee of Selection on a session by session basis, and

(b) shall disregard any provision inserted by the House of Lords which, in the Speaker’s opinion, has the sole objective of ensuring that Standing Order No. 80(a) (Privilege (bills brought from the Lords)) will apply to the bill.

(9) The Speaker shall announce any decision under this order to the House.

(10) This order shall not apply to the following bills-

(a) a bill which is certified under Standing Order No. 97(1) (Scottish Grand Committee (bills in relation to their principle)),

(b) a bill referred to the Welsh Grand Committee under Standing Order No. 106(1) (Welsh Grand Committee (bills)),

(c) a bill referred to the Northern Ireland Grand Committee under Standing Order No. 113(1) (Northern Ireland Grand Committee (bills in relation to their principle)),

(d) a bill which falls to be considered by the select committee appointed under Standing Order No. 140 (Joint Committee on Consolidation, &c., Bills),

(e) a bill whose main purpose is to give effect to proposals contained in a report by a Law Commission,

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(f) a tax law rewrite bill,

(g) a bill introduced under the Statutory Orders (Special Procedure) Act 1945 or for confirming a provisional order.

(11) This order-

(a) shall not affect the right of every Member to vote on-

(i) the consideration of estimates, and

(ii) ways and means motions and motions for money resolutions (other than motions to which Standing Order No. 83U applies), and

(b) shall not apply to a Consolidated Fund or Appropriation Bill.

83K. Committal and recommittal of certified England only bills

(1) A bill certified by the Speaker under Standing Order No. 83J as relating exclusively to England and being within devolved legislative competence may only be committed to-

(a) a public bill committee (to which Standing Order No. 86(2)(iv) (Nomination of general committees) applies), or

(b) the Legislative Grand Committee (England).

(2) A bill whose current certification by the Speaker (whether under Standing Order No. 83J or 83L) is that it relates exclusively to England and is within devolved legislative competence may only be recommitted to-

(a) a public bill committee (to which Standing Order No. 86(2)(iv) (Nomination of general committees) applies), or

(b) the Legislative Grand Committee (England).

83L. Reconsideration of certification before third reading

(1) Paragraph (2) applies in relation to every bill which-

(a) was eligible for certification under Standing Order No. 83J (whether or not the bill, or any clause or schedule of it, was so certified),

(b) has been amended since its second reading, and

(c) has completed the stages before its third reading.

(2) The Speaker shall, before a motion may be made for the third reading of the bill-

(a) reconsider the bill, and

(b) certify the bill, or any clause or schedule of it, if the bill or clause or schedule, in the Speaker’s opinion-

(i) relates exclusively to England or to England and Wales, and

(ii) is within devolved legislative competence.

(3) Paragraph (4) applies in relation to every bill which-

(a) was certified (whether in whole or in part) by the Speaker under Standing Order No. 83J,

(b) has been amended since its second reading, and

(c) has completed the stages before its third reading.

(4) The Speaker shall, before a motion may be made for the third reading of the bill, certify any amendment made to the bill since second reading which, in the opinion of the Speaker-

(a) related to the bill so far as certified under Standing Order No. 83J,

(b) was not made by the Legislative Grand Committee (England) or a public bill committee to which Standing Order No. 86(2)(iv) (Nomination of general committees) applies, and

(c) either-

(i) resulted in there being no certification under paragraph (2) when there would otherwise have been such a certification, or

(ii) changed the area to which a certification under paragraph (2) would otherwise have related.

(5) Any amendment certified under paragraph (4) shall be certified as relating exclusively to the area to which the certification under paragraph (2) would have related had that amendment not been made (and there shall be no certification as to devolved legislative competence).

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(6) The Speaker shall announce any decision under paragraph (2) or (4) to the House.

(7) The Speaker shall, wherever possible, announce the Speaker’s decisions under paragraph (2) or (4) immediately after the conclusion of proceedings on the previous stage of the bill.

(8) Paragraphs (2) to (8) of Standing Order No. 83J apply for the purposes of certification of bills, clauses, schedules and amendments under this order as they apply for the purposes of certification of bills, clauses and schedules under that order.

83M. Consent Motions for certified England only or England and Wales only provisions

(1) Paragraphs (2) and (3) apply where-

(a) a bill, or clauses or schedules of a bill, have been certified under Standing Order No. 83J as relating exclusively to England or to England and Wales and being within devolved legislative competence, and the bill has completed the stages before its third reading without having been amended,

(b) a bill or clauses or schedules of a bill have been certified under Standing Order No. 83L(2) as relating exclusively to England or to England and Wales and being within devolved legislative competence, or

(c) amendments have been certified under Standing Order No. 83L(4) as relating exclusively to England or to England and Wales.

(2) A Consent Motion which gives consent to the bill, clauses or schedules or amendments must be passed by the legislative grand committee for the area to which the certification relates before a motion may be made for the third reading of the bill.

(3) If a Minister of the Crown indicates his or her intention to move a Consent Motion, the House shall forthwith resolve itself into the legislative grand committee which is to consider the motion.

(4) If a Minister of the Crown indicates his or her intention to move both a Consent Motion which is to be passed by the Legislative Grand Committee (England and Wales) and a Consent Motion which is to be passed by the Legislative Grand Committee (England)-

(a) the House shall forthwith resolve itself into the Legislative Grand Committee (England and Wales) to consider the motion for that committee,

(b) on moving that motion, the Minister shall also inform the committee of the terms of the motion to be moved in the Legislative Grand Committee (England),

(c) any debate in the Legislative Grand Committee (England and Wales) may also relate to the motion for the Legislative Grand Committee (England), and

(d) on conclusion of proceedings in the Legislative Grand Committee (England and Wales)-

(i) the House shall forthwith resolve itself into the Legislative Grand Committee (England),

(ii) a Minister of the Crown shall forthwith move the motion for that committee, and

(iii) proceedings in the Legislative Grand Committee (England) shall be brought to a conclusion forthwith.

(5) Standing Orders Nos. 83E (Programme orders: conclusion of proceedings on consideration and up to and including third reading) and 83I (Programme orders: supplementary provisions) shall apply for the purpose of bringing proceedings to a conclusion in accordance with paragraph (4)(d)(iii) above (whether or not those proceedings are subject to a programme order) as they apply for the purpose of bringing proceedings to a conclusion in accordance with a programme order.

(6) On the conclusion of proceedings on a Consent Motion (or, in a case falling within paragraph (4), the conclusion of proceedings on the second Consent Motion), the chair shall report the decision of the committee (or, as the case may be, the decisions of the committees) to the House.

(7) Subject to paragraph (8), a Consent Motion shall be in the form either “That the Committee consents to the XXX Bill” or “That the Committee consents to [the following certified clauses

22 Oct 2015 : Column 1163

[and schedules] of the XXX Bill] [and certified amendments made by the House to the XXX Bill]…”; and in the latter case the motion shall identify the clauses or schedules or amendments in question.

(8) If a Minister of the Crown wishes to propose that a committee should not consent to certain clauses or schedules or amendments, the Consent Motion shall be in the form “That the Committee consents to [the following certified clauses [and schedules] of the XXX Bill] [and certified amendments made by the House to the XXX Bill]… and does not consent to [the following certified clauses [and schedules] of the XXX Bill] [and certified amendments made by the House to the XXX Bill]…”; and in any such case the motion shall identify the clauses or schedules or amendments in question.

(9) A Consent Motion may only be moved by a Minister of the Crown and may be moved without notice.

(10) Proceedings under this order may be proceeded with, though opposed, after the moment of interruption.

83N. Reconsideration of bills so far as there is absence of consent

(1) Where a legislative grand committee decides on a Consent Motion under Standing Order No. 83M to withhold consent to a bill or any clause or schedule of a bill or any amendment-

(a) the bill shall be set down for reconsideration unless a Minister of the Crown moves a motion for the bill to be reconsidered (and any such motion may be made without notice, the question on any such motion shall be put forthwith and, if the motion is passed, the House shall proceed forthwith to reconsideration), and

(b) any order for the third reading of the bill shall be discharged.

(2) Reconsideration of the bill shall be for the sole purpose of considering amendments to the bill to resolve matters in dispute as a result of the withholding of consent.

(3) Paragraphs (2) and (4) to (8) of Standing Order No. 83L, and Standing Order No. 83M, shall apply following reconsideration of a bill in relation to the bill so far as reconsidered as they apply in relation to a bill; but as if-

(a) in Standing Order No. 83L(4)-

(i) the reference to any amendment since second reading were a reference to any amendment made on reconsideration, and

(ii) sub-paragraphs (a) and (b) were omitted, and

(b) in the case of any matter, there were a deemed certification in relation to the area or areas to which any relevant previous certification under Standing Order No. 83L(2) or (4) related if there would not otherwise be a certification in relation to that area or areas.

(4) If, following reconsideration of a bill and the steps taken by virtue of paragraph (3), a legislative grand committee withholds consent to the whole bill (whether or not amended on reconsideration), the bill may not be given a third reading and shall not pass.

(5) Paragraph (6) applies if, following reconsideration of a bill and the steps taken by virtue of paragraph (3), a legislative grand committee withholds consent to-

(a) any clause or schedule of the bill (whether or not amended on reconsideration), or

(b) any amendment to the bill, but does not withhold consent to the whole bill.

(6) The bill shall be amended so as to remove any provisions of the bill which are not agreed by the House and any relevant legislative grand committee; and it is the bill as so amended which proceeds to its next stage.

(7) A Minister of the Crown may move a motion for the bill as so amended to be considered again (“consequential consideration”); and such a motion may be made without notice and the question on any such motion shall be put forthwith.

22 Oct 2015 : Column 1164

(8) If the motion is passed, the House shall proceed forthwith to consequential consideration of the bill as so amended; and any order for the third reading of the bill shall be discharged.

(9) Consequential consideration of the bill as so amended shall be for the sole purpose of considering minor or technical amendments in consequence of the removal of provisions under paragraph (6).

(10) Proceedings on reconsideration or consequential consideration, or a motion for reconsideration or consequential consideration, may be proceeded with, though opposed, after the moment of interruption.

(11) References in the standing orders of this House to consideration of a bill on report shall, so far as relevant and subject to paragraph (12), include reconsideration or consequential consideration of a bill under this order.

(12) In its application by virtue of paragraph (11), Standing Order No. 72 (Consideration of bill as amended in committee of the whole House) has effect as if the words “, as amended in a committee of the whole House,” were omitted.

83O. Consideration of certified motions or amendments relating to Lords Amendments or other messages

(1) The Speaker shall consider any motion relating to a Lords amendment to a bill or to any other message from the Lords in respect of a bill.

(2) The Speaker shall certify the motion if, in the Speaker’s opinion, it-

(a) relates exclusively to England and is within devolved legislative competence, or

(b) relates exclusively to England and Wales and is within devolved legislative competence.

(3) For the purposes of paragraph (2) a motion relates exclusively to England or to England and Wales and is within devolved legislative competence if it or any provision of it-

(a) relates to a Lords amendment, or an item in another message, which would, if agreed, result in-

(i) a clause or schedule as amended which relates exclusively to England or to England and Wales and is within devolved legislative competence,

(ii) a new or unamended clause or schedule which so relates and is within devolved legislative competence, or

(iii) the omission of a clause or schedule which so relates and is within devolved legislative competence, or

(b) contains proposals which would, if agreed, so result.

(4) The Speaker shall also certify the motion if, in the Speaker’s opinion, it or any provision of it-

(a) relates to a Lords amendment, or an item in another message, which would, if agreed, result in a clause or schedule, which relates exclusively to England or to England and Wales and is within devolved legislative competence, ceasing to so relate or to be within devolved legislative competence, or

(b) contains proposals which, if agreed, would so result.

(5) Any motion certified under paragraph (4) shall be certified as relating exclusively to the area to which the clause or schedule relates (and there shall be no certification as to devolved legislative competence).

(6) The same motion may be certified in relation to different areas under paragraphs (2) and (4) or either of them.

(7) If a division is held on a motion certified under this order, the motion shall be agreed to only if, of those voting in the division-

(a) in the case of a motion certified in relation to England, a majority of Members and a majority of Members representing constituencies in England,

(b) in the case of a motion certified in relation to England and Wales, a majority of Members and a majority of Members representing constituencies in England and Wales, and

22 Oct 2015 : Column 1165

(c) in the case of a motion certified both in relation to England and in relation to England and Wales, a majority of Members, a majority of Members representing constituencies in England and a majority of Members representing constituencies in England and Wales, vote in support of the motion.

(8) The Speaker shall, in selecting motions relating to Lords amendments or other messages, have regard to the extent to which such motions are drafted so that they can be certified under this order by virtue of every provision of them meeting the test in paragraph (3)(a) or (b) or (4)(a) or (b).

(9) If a motion relating to a Lords amendment or other message is disagreed to under this order because one of the groups voting in the division has not voted in support of it while another has, the decision of the House shall be-

(a) in the case of a motion to disagree (or agree) to a Lords amendment or an item in another message, to disagree with it, and

(b) in any other case, such decision as would have the effect of leaving the bill so far as it relates to that matter in the same position as it was before the Lords amendment or other message was received from the Lords.

(10) The Speaker shall announce any decision under paragraph (2) or (4) to the House.

(11) This order does not apply in relation to-

(a) any motion relating to a bill which was not eligible for certification under Standing Order No. 83J, and

(b) any of the following motions-

(i) any ways and means motion or motion for a money resolution,

(ii) any programme motion,

(iii) any order of consideration motion,

(iv) any motion of, or relating to, the Reasons Committee, and

(v) any other motion of a similar kind to a motion falling within any of paragraphs (i) to (iv).

(12) In this order-

(a) references to motions are to be read as including, so far as relevant, references to amendments to Lords amendments and references to amendments to the bill, and

(b) the reference in paragraph (3)(a)(i) to clauses or schedules as amended includes, in particular, a reference to clauses or schedules which would be amended by virtue of their territorial application being modified otherwise than in the clauses or schedules themselves.

(13) Paragraphs (2) to (4), (7) and (8)(a) of Standing Order No. 83J apply for the purposes of deciding under this order whether clauses or schedules relate exclusively to England or to England and Wales and are within devolved legislative competence as they apply for the purposes of the certification of clauses or schedules under that order; and, in the case of a bill which relates exclusively to England or to England and Wales, paragraph (6) of that order also applies for the purpose of deciding under this order whether clauses or schedules so relate.

CERTIFICATION OF INSTRUMENTS AND MOTIONS: GENERAL

83P. Certification of instruments

(1) The Speaker shall-

(a) consider every instrument to which this order applies, and

(b) certify any such instrument which, in the Speaker’s opinion-

(i) relates exclusively to England or to England and Wales, and

(ii) is within devolved legislative competence.

(2) An instrument-

22 Oct 2015 : Column 1166

(a) relates exclusively to England and is within devolved legislative competence if every provision of it relates exclusively to England and is within devolved legislative competence;

(b) relates exclusively to England and Wales and is within devolved legislative competence if every provision of it relates exclusively to England and Wales and is within devolved legislative competence.

(3) Paragraphs (2) to (4), (6) and (7) of Standing Order No. 83J apply for the purposes of this order; and as so applied those paragraphs have effect as if-

(a) references to a bill were to an instrument, and

(b) references to a clause or schedule were to a provision of an instrument.

(4) In deciding whether to certify an instrument under this order the Speaker may consult two members of the Panel of Chairs who are appointed for this purpose by the Committee of Selection on a session by session basis.

(5) The Speaker shall announce any decision under this order to the House.

(6) This order applies to any instrument (whether or not in draft) upon which proceedings may be taken in pursuance of an Act of Parliament where the instrument-

(a) meets any of conditions A to C, and

(b) is not a report within paragraph (1)(a) to (c) of Standing Order No. 83R.

(7) Condition A is that the instrument-

(a) stands referred to a Delegated Legislation Committee pursuant to paragraph (3) of Standing Order No. 118 (Delegated Legislation Committees), or

(b) does not stand so referred because sub-paragraph (a) of that paragraph applies to it.

(8) Condition B is that a member has given notice of a motion of the kind mentioned in paragraph (4)(a) of Standing Order No. 118 in relation to the instrument and the instrument-

(a) stands referred to a Delegated Legislation Committee, or

(b) has been set down for consideration in the Chamber on a particular day.

(9) Condition C is that the Regulatory Reform Committee has made a recommendation of the kind mentioned in paragraph (1) or (2) of Standing Order No. 18 (Consideration of draft legislative reform orders etc.) in relation to the instrument.

83Q. Deciding the question on motions relating to certified instruments

(1) This order applies to the following motions-

(a) a motion to approve a certified instrument;

(b) a motion of the kind mentioned in paragraph (4)(a) of Standing Order No. 118 in relation to a certified instrument;

(c) a motion to disagree with a report of the Regulatory Reform Committee that contains a recommendation of the kind mentioned in paragraph (2) of Standing Order No. 18 in relation to a certified instrument;

(d) an amendment to a motion within sub-paragraph (a) or (b).

(2) If a division is held on a motion to which this order applies, the motion shall be agreed to only if, of those voting in the division-

(a) a majority of Members, and

(b) a majority of Members representing qualifying constituencies,

vote in support of the motion.

(3) In this order-

(a) “a certified instrument” means an instrument which has been certified under Standing Order No. 83P as relating exclusively to England or to England and Wales;

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(b) “qualifying constituencies” means constituencies in the part of the United Kingdom to which the instrument has been certified as relating exclusively.

83R. Deciding the question on certain other motions

(1) This order applies to the following motions-

(a) a motion to approve-

(i) a report which has been laid before the House under paragraph 5 of Schedule 7B to the Local Government Finance Act 1988 (local government finance report) and which contains a determination under section 78 of that Act (revenue support grant), or

(ii) a report which has been laid before the House under section 84A of that Act (revenue support grant: amending report);

(b) a motion to approve a report which has been laid before the House under section 52ZD of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 (referendums relating to council tax increases: principles);

(c) a motion to approve a report which has been laid before the House under section 46 of the Police Act 1996 (police grant);

(d) a motion for a resolution under section 26(2)(b)(ii) of the Higher Education Act 2004 (student fees);

(e) an amendment to a motion within sub-paragraph (d).

(2) If a division is held on a motion to which this order applies, the motion shall be agreed to only if, of those voting in the division-

(a) a majority of Members, and

(b) a majority of Members representing qualifying constituencies,

vote in support of the motion.

(3) In this order “qualifying constituencies” means-

(a) in the case of a motion within paragraph (1)(a), (b), (d) or (e), constituencies in England;

(b) in the case of a motion within paragraph (1)(c), constituencies in England or Wales.

CERTIFICATION OF FINANCE BILLS, INSTRUMENTS AND MOTIONS

83S. Modification of Standing Orders Nos. 83J to 83N in their application to Finance Bills

(1) In their application in relation to a bill within paragraph (2), Standing Orders Nos. 83J to 83N shall have effect with the modifications in paragraphs (3) to (5).

(2) A bill is within this paragraph if-

(a) it is a Finance Bill, or

(b) it is a bill which, before second reading, only contained provision which would be within the ordinary scope of a Finance Bill (or would be if the provision was to take effect in the current financial year).

(3) In Standing Order No. 83J-

(a) in paragraph (1)(b)(i) after “Wales” insert “or to England, Wales and Northern Ireland”;

(b) in paragraph (2) after “Wales” (in both places) insert “or to England, Wales and Northern Ireland”;

(c) after paragraph (4) insert-

“(4A) A clause or schedule which relates exclusively to England, Wales and Northern Ireland is within devolved legislative competence if it would be within the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament to make any corresponding provision for Scotland in an Act of that Parliament.”;

(d) in paragraph (5) after sub-paragraph (b) insert “;

(c) relates exclusively to England, Wales and Northern Ireland and is within devolved legislative competence if every clause and every schedule of it relates exclusively to England, Wales and Northern Ireland and is within devolved legislative competence”;

(e) in paragraph (6) after “Wales” insert “or to England, Wales and Northern Ireland”; and

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(f) after paragraph (11) insert-

“(12) The test in paragraph (3)(a), (4)(a) or (4A) is also met if the clause or schedule concerned sets a rate of income tax in respect of any kind of income for a person who is resident in the United Kingdom for tax purposes but is not a Scottish taxpayer where the corresponding rate for a Scottish taxpayer may be set by a resolution of the Scottish Parliament under Chapter 2 of Part 4A of the Scotland Act 1998 (and the reference in paragraph (7) to the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament includes a reference to that Chapter)”.

(4) In Standing Order No. 83L, in paragraph (2)(b)(i) after “Wales” insert “or to England, Wales and Northern Ireland”.

(5) In Standing Order No. 83M-

(a) in paragraph (1) after “Wales” (in each place) insert “or to England, Wales and Northern Ireland”;

(b) for paragraph (4) substitute-

“(4) If a Minister of the Crown indicates his or her intention to move Consent Motions which are to be passed by more than one legislative grand committee-

(a) the order in which the Consent Motions are to be considered is:

(i) any motion to be considered by the Legislative Grand Committee (England, Wales and Northern Ireland),(ii) any motion to be considered by the Legislative Grand Committee (England and Wales), and(iii) any motion to be considered by the Legislative Grand Committee (England),

(b) the House shall forthwith resolve itself into the legislative grand committee which is to consider the first Consent Motion,

(c) on moving that motion, the Minister shall also inform the committee of the terms of any other Consent Motion to be moved in any other legislative grand committee,

(d) any debate in the first legislative grand committee may also relate to any other Consent Motion to be moved in any other legislative grand committee,

(e) on conclusion of proceedings in the first legislative grand committee-

(i) the House shall forthwith resolve itself into the legislative grand committee which is to consider the next Consent Motion,(ii) a Minister of the Crown shall forthwith move that motion, and(iii) proceedings in the second legislative grand committee shall be brought to a conclusion forthwith, and

(f) on conclusion of proceedings in the second legislative grand committee, sub-paragraphs (e)(i) to (iii) shall apply in relation to any third Consent Motion and a third legislative grand committee as they apply in relation to the second Consent Motion and the second legislative grand committee.”;

(c) in paragraph (5) for “(4)(d)(iii)” substitute “(4)(e)(iii) and (f)”; and

(d) in paragraph (6) for “second Consent Motion” substitute “Consent Motions”.

83T. Modification of Standing Orders Nos. 83P and 83Q in their application to financial instruments

(1) In their application in relation to a financial instrument, Standing Orders Nos. 83P and 83Q shall have effect with the following modifications.

(2) In Standing Order No. 83P-

(a) in paragraph (1)(b)(i) after “Wales” insert “or to England, Wales and Northern Ireland”;

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(b) in paragraph (2) after sub-paragraph (b) insert “;

(c) relates exclusively to England, Wales and Northern Ireland and is within devolved legislative competence if every provision of it relates exclusively to England, Wales and Northern Ireland and is within devolved legislative competence”; and

(c) in paragraph (3) for the words from the beginning to “apply” substitute “Paragraphs (2) to (4A), (6), (7) and (12) of Standing Order No. 83J (as modified by Standing Order No. 83S(3))”.

(3) In Standing Order 83Q(3)(a) after “Wales” insert “or to England, Wales and Northern Ireland”.

(4) For the purposes of this order an instrument is a “financial instrument” if it is made or proposed to be made in exercise of powers conferred by (and only by)-

(a) an Act which resulted from a Finance Bill;

(b) a provision of an Act which would have been within the ordinary scope of a Finance Bill.

83U. Certification of motions upon which a Finance Bill is to be brought in which would authoriseprovision relating exclusively to England, to England and Wales or to England, Wales and Northern Ireland

(1) This order applies to any founding motion which, if passed, would-

(a) authorise a bill to include provision which would be within the ordinary scope of a Finance Bill, or

(b) authorise a Finance Bill to include provision which would not be within the ordinary scope of a Finance Bill.

(2) The Speaker shall-

(a) consider every motion to which this order applies, and

(b) certify any such motion which, in the Speaker’s opinion, falls within paragraph (3), (4) or (5).

(3) A motion falls within this paragraph if it would, if passed, only authorise a bill to include provision which-

(a) relates exclusively to England, and

(b) is within devolved legislative competence.

(4) A motion falls within this paragraph if it would, if passed, only authorise a bill to include provision which-

(a) relates exclusively to England and Wales, and

(b) is within devolved legislative competence.

(5) A motion falls within this paragraph if it would, if passed, only authorise a bill to include provision which-

(a) relates exclusively to England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and

(b) is within devolved legislative competence.

(6) In deciding whether to certify under this order a motion to which this order applies, the Speaker may consult two members of the Panel of Chairs who are appointed for this purpose by the Committee of Selection on a session by session basis.

(7) The Speaker shall announce any decision under this order to the House.

(8) Paragraphs (2) to (4A), (7) and (12) of Standing Order No. 83J (as modified by Standing Order No. 83S(3)) apply for the purposes of this order; and as so applied those paragraphs have effect as if references to a clause or schedule were to a provision.

(9) In paragraph (1) “founding motion” means a motion upon which a bill is to be brought in.

83V. Deciding the question on motions certified under Standing Order No. 83U

(1) If a division is held on a motion which has been certified under Standing Order No. 83U, the motion shall be agreed to only if, of those voting in the division-

(a) a majority of Members, and

(b) a majority of Members representing qualifying constituencies,

vote in support of the motion.

(2) In this order “qualifying constituencies” means-

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(a) in a case where the motion concerned was certified as falling within paragraph (3) of Standing Order No. 83U, constituencies in England;

(b) in a case where the motion concerned was certified as falling within paragraph (4) of that standing order, constituencies in England or Wales;

(c) in a case where the motion concerned was certified as falling within paragraph (5) of that standing order, constituencies in England, Wales or Northern Ireland.

LEGISLATIVE GRAND COMMITTEES

83W. Legislative Grand Committees

(1) There shall be-

(a) a Legislative Grand Committee (England),

(b) a Legislative Grand Committee (England and Wales), and

(c) a Legislative Grand Committee (England, Wales and Northern Ireland).

(2) The Legislative Grand Committee (England) shall consist of all Members representing constituencies in England.

(3) The Legislative Grand Committee (England and Wales) shall consist of all Members representing constituencies in England and all Members representing constituencies in Wales.

(4) The Legislative Grand Committee (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) shall consist of-

(a) all Members representing constituencies in England,

(b) all Members representing constituencies in Wales, and

(c) all Members representing constituencies in Northern Ireland.

(5) A Deputy Speaker or a member of the Panel of Chairs may chair a legislative grand committee.

(6) The functions of the Legislative Grand Committee (England) shall be-

(a) to consider any bills committed or recommitted to the committee in accordance with Standing Order No. 83K, and

(b) to consider any Consent Motions under Standing Order No. 83M which relate to the committee.

(7) The functions of the Legislative Grand Committee (England and Wales) and the Legislative Grand Committee (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) are to consider any Consent Motions under Standing Order No. 83M which relate to them.

(8) Any Member who is not a member of a legislative grand committee may take part in the deliberations of the committee but shall not vote or make any motion or move any amendment.

83X. Legislative Grand Committees: supplementary

(1) The procedure of this House applicable to a committee of the whole House shall, so far as relevant, be applicable to a legislative grand committee.

(2) Accordingly, references in the standing orders of this House to a committee of the whole House or to the House in committee, or similar references, shall be read as references to the relevant legislative grand committee.

(3) Paragraphs (1) and (2) do not apply to Standing Order No. 82 (Business Committee).”

In Standing Order No. 12 (House not to sit on certain Fridays), in line 20, after “notices of” insert “Consent Motions under Standing Order No. 83M (Consent Motions for certified England only or England and Wales only provisions) and of”.

In Standing Order No. 51 (Ways and means motions), in line 12, after “forthwith” insert “or, in the case of a motion to which Standing Order No. 83U applies, forthwith upon the announcement of the Speaker's decision with respect to the motion under that standing order”.

After Standing Order No. 63(4) (Committal of bills not subject to a programme order) insert-

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“(5) In the case of a bill certified by the Speaker under Standing Order No. 83J as relating exclusively to England and being within devolved legislative competence-

(a) committal under this order is subject to Standing Order No. 83K (Committal and recommittal of certified England only bills), and

(b) committal under this order to a public bill committee is accordingly to a public bill committee to which Standing Order No. 86(2)(iv) (Nomination of general committees) applies.

(6) Nothing in this order enables a bill to be committed to any legislative grand committee other than to the Legislative Grand Committee (England) in accordance with Standing Order No. 83K.”

In Standing Order No. 64 (Notices of amendments, &c., to bills), in line 2, after “schedules” insert “, of Consent Motions under Standing Order No. 83M (Consent Motions for certified England only or England and Wales only provisions)”.

In Standing Order No. 73 (Report of bills committed to public bill committees), in line 4, after “bill committee” insert “or the Legislative Grand Committee (England)”.

In Standing Order No. 83A (Programme motions), in line 30, after “and” insert “up to and including”.

In Standing Order No. 83B (Programming committees)-

(a) in line 2, after “reading” insert “or in legislative grand committee or on reconsideration or consequential consideration”, and

(b) in line 14, after “reading” insert “or in legislative grand committee or on reconsideration or consequential consideration”.

In Standing Order No. 83C (Programming sub-committees)-

(a) in line 22, after “and” insert “up to and including”,

(b) in line 62, after “and” insert “up to and including”, and

(c) in line 75, after “and” insert “up to and including”.

In Standing Order No. 83D (Programme orders: conclusion of proceedings in public bill committee or in committee of the whole House)-

(a) in the title, after “House” insert “etc.”, and

(b) in line 2, after “bill committee” insert “, in the Legislative Grand Committee (England) when exercising functions under Standing Order No. 83W(6)(a) (Legislative Grand Committees)”.

In Standing Order No. 83E (Programme orders: conclusion of proceedings on consideration or third reading)-

(a) in the title for “or” substitute “and up to and including”,

(b) in line 2, after “and” insert “up to and including”, and

(c) in line 22, at end, insert-

“(5) In the application of this order to proceedings on a Consent Motion in legislative grand committee, the references to the Speaker in paragraph (2) are to be read as references to the Chairman of Ways and Means or either Deputy Chairman.”

After Standing Order No. 83F(7) (Programme orders: conclusion of proceedings on consideration of Lords amendments), at the end of line 35, insert-

“(8) Where a single question would be put under paragraph (3)(a), (4)(a) or (7) in circumstances where some or all of the amendments concerned are certified under Standing Order No. 83O (Consideration of certified motions or amendments relating to Lords Amendments or other messages) in relation to a particular part or parts of the United Kingdom, the Speaker shall put forthwith-

(a) a single question on any amendments for which the certification is in relation to England,

(b) a single question on any amendments for which the certification is in relation to England and Wales,

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(c) a single question on any amendments for which the certification is both in relation to England and in relation to England and Wales, and

(d) a single question on any amendments for which there is no certification.

(9) Where a single question would be put under paragraph (6) in circumstances where, if there were (or are) separate motions to agree in relation to each of the remaining Lords amendments, some or all of the motions would be (or are) certified under Standing Order No. 83O (Consideration of certified motions or amendments relating to Lords Amendments or other messages), the Speaker shall put forthwith-

(a) in the case of any remaining Lords amendments for which there would be (or are) motions certified in relation to England, the question that this House agrees with the Lords in those amendments,

(b) in the case of any remaining Lords amendments for which there would be (or are) amendments certified in relation to England and Wales, the question that this House agrees with the Lords in those amendments,

(c) in the case of any remaining Lords amendments for which there would be (or are) motions certified both in relation to England and in relation to England and Wales, the question that this House agrees with the Lords in those amendments, and

(d) in the case of any remaining Lords amendments for which there would be (or are) motions which would not be (or are not) certified, the question that this House agrees with the Lords in those amendments.

(10) If a division is held on a question put under paragraph (8) or (9), the amendments shall be agreed to only if, of those voting in the division-

(a) in a case falling within sub-paragraph (a) of that paragraph, a majority of Members and a majority of Members representing constituencies in England,

(b) in a case falling within sub-paragraph (b) of that paragraph, a majority of Members and a majority of Members representing constituencies in England and Wales,

(c) in a case falling within sub-paragraph (c) of that paragraph, a majority of Members, a majority of Members representing constituencies in England and a majority of Members representing constituencies in England and Wales, and

(d) in a case falling within sub-paragraph (d) of that paragraph, a majority of Members,

vote in support of them.

(11) Paragraph (9) of Standing Order No. 83O shall apply to a decision made by virtue of paragraph (10) above on a question as it applies in relation to a decision made by virtue of paragraph (7) of that order on a motion.”

In Standing Order No. 83G (Programme orders: conclusion of proceedings on further messages from the Lords)-

(a) in line 12, after “shall” insert “, subject to paragraphs (6) and (7),”, and

(b) at the end of line 14 insert-

“(6) Paragraph (7) applies where, if there were (or are) separate motions to agree in relation to each of the remaining Lords proposals, some or all of the motions would be (or are) certified under Standing Order No. 83O (Consideration of certified motions or amendments relating to Lords Amendments or other messages).

(7) The Speaker shall put forthwith-

(a) in the case of any remaining Lords proposals for which there would be (or are) motions certified in relation to England, the question that this House agrees with the Lords in those proposals,

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(b) in the case of any remaining Lords proposals for which there would be (or are) motions certified in relation to England and Wales, the question that this House agrees with the Lords in those proposals,(c) in the case of any remaining Lords proposals for which there would be (or are) motions certified both in relation to England and in relation to England and Wales, the question that this House agrees with the Lords in those proposals, and(d) in the case of any remaining Lords proposals for which there would be (or are) motions which would not be (or are not) certified, the question that this House agrees with the Lords in those proposals.

(8) If a division is held on a question put under paragraph (7), the proposals shall be agreed to only if, of those voting in the division-

(a) in a case falling within sub-paragraph (a) of that paragraph, a majority of Members and a majority of Members representing constituencies in England,(b) in a case falling within sub-paragraph (b) of that paragraph, a majority of Members and a majority of Members representing constituencies in England and Wales,(c) in a case falling within sub-paragraph (c) of that paragraph, a majority of Members, a majority of Members representing constituencies in England and a majority of Members representing constituencies in England and Wales, and(d) in a case falling within sub-paragraph (d) of that paragraph, a majority of Members,

vote in support of them.

(9) Paragraph (9) of Standing Order No. 83O shall apply to a decision made by virtue of paragraph (8) above on a question as it applies in relation to a decision made by virtue of paragraph (7) of that order on a motion.”

In Standing Order No. 83I (Programme orders: supplementary provisions), in line 2, after second “House” insert “or in legislative grand committee”.

In Standing Order No. 86 (Nomination of general committees), in line 33, at end insert-

“(iv) for the consideration of any bill certified by the Speaker under Standing Order No. 83J (or, in the case of recommittal after recertification, Standing Order No. 83L) as relating exclusively to England and being within devolved legislative competence, the Committee of Selection, in nominating Members to a public bill committee, shall have regard to the composition of that part of the House consisting of Members representing constituencies in England; and no Member who does not represent a constituency in England shall be nominated to such a committee”; and

(2) The new Standing Orders, and the changes to Standing Orders, made by this order do not apply in relation to-

(a) any bills which have had a Second Reading in this House on or before the day on which this order is made,

(b) any bills introduced in the previous Parliament which have been carried over into this Parliament,

(c) any instruments or draft instruments laid on or before the day on which this order is made, and

(d) any motions agreed to on or before that day.

This is the third time that the proposals have been debated by the House, and the second occasion for debate that I promised back in July. I have endeavoured throughout this process to listen to the views expressed

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by hon. Members about the way all this is conducted and to respond as positively as possible, notwithstanding the timetable commitments in our manifesto.

I should add that the reason we have timetabled votes for 4 pm is that I was aware there were likely to be a number of Divisions, and I was particularly concerned to ensure that Members from constituencies a little further away could get away to catch planes and trains to get back to their constituencies this evening.

I will endeavour to keep my remarks relatively short so that all Members who want to speak can do so, and I hope other Front Benchers will do the same. I want to start by setting out briefly why we are pursuing this strategy. If Members will forgive me, I will do that before I take interventions. I will obviously be happy to take interventions a little later.

I am a staunch Unionist. I support the devolution of powers to the different parts of the United Kingdom. I want the United Kingdom to remain secure and intact. I was delighted when the Scottish people voted clearly to stay in the United Kingdom. The whole is greater than the sum of our parts. Indeed, I have great affection for all the countries of the United Kingdom, so I cheered when Wales and Northern Ireland secured their places in Euro 2016 and was dismayed last Sunday when Scotland was so narrowly pipped at the post at Twickenham. I will always cheer the home nations in competition.

I have, however, listened with concern to some in England who have expressed less enthusiasm than me about the future of the UK. I am sure I am not alone in having experienced strong views from an English perspective about the nature and extent of devolution, and the sense that somehow the other parts of the United Kingdom are getting something that the English are not. It is clearly not in the interests of the Union for us to see mounting resentment in any part of the United Kingdom. That is why I looked carefully at the polling evidence that suggests a majority of Scots think the approach we are taking is fair.

To all of those in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland who share my concern for the future of the Union, I say this: it cannot be in the interests of any of us to see the English people becoming cynical about the Union and even perhaps wishing for its end. That is why I think these proposals will help to secure what most reasonable people would think was a fair settlement across the United Kingdom.

Andrew Gwynne (Denton and Reddish) (Lab): Will the Leader of the House give way?

Chris Grayling: I will give way in a while, but I will just make some progress before I do.

When the Prime Minister asked me to take over dealing with the issue of English votes for English laws—I should emphasise that it is sometimes English and Welsh votes for English and Welsh laws—I looked very hard at the proposals I inherited from my predecessor. I found what I believe to be a sensible set of proposals, which fit well with the Government’s strategy on devolution. I found a package that, taken overall, should strengthen the Union through giving greater devolution to all parts of the United Kingdom—the Scotland Bill and the draft Wales Bill, which has been published in the past

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few days. I found a package that creates fairer Parliaments and fairer Assemblies, and that gives the English a strong voice on English matters without—I emphasise, without—excluding MPs from other parts of the United Kingdom from participation in this House.

Andrew Gwynne: rose—

Hywel Williams (Arfon) (PC) rose

Kevin Brennan (Cardiff West) (Lab) rose

Chris Grayling: I will give way in a moment. Let me just make this point.

Kevin Brennan rose

Hon. Members: Sit down!

Madam Deputy Speaker (Mrs Eleanor Laing): Order. Nobody tells anyone to sit down except the Chair. The hon. Member for Cardiff West (Kevin Brennan) should know when to resume his seat; nor should he challenge the House from a sedentary position.

Kevin Brennan: Well tell them to shut up then.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order. If the hon. Member for Cardiff West had whispered that remark, I would not have heard it. As he made it very loudly, I could not help but hear it, and I must ask him to apologise to the House for using that language.

Kevin Brennan: Of course I apologise to you, Madam Deputy Speaker. I hope we are not going to be second-class MPs in this House with that sort of attitude. [Interruption.]

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order. We will have a calm and sensible debate this afternoon, and I hope that tempers will now be kept under control.

Chris Grayling: I did say that I would give way in a moment but just wanted to set out some remarks first; that was all.

This has been one of the frustrations of the debate on this issue. Anyone who reads these proposals will know full well that they do not exclude any Member of Parliament from any vote in this Chamber in which they can currently take part. It is simply not the case. Yet I keep hearing about MPs being excluded. That will simply not happen. I hope we will not hear that error repeated in today’s debate.

Mr David Hanson (Delyn) (Lab): I am grateful to the Leader of the House for giving way on that point. Will he explain why, for example, Lord Thomas of Gresford, who has fought four elections in north-east Wales and lost every one—he has never won an election—but sits in another place, will have rights over my constituents in moving motions on an amendment, whereas I—I have won six elections to this place—will not have the same rights?

Chris Grayling: The answer to that question is that in 1997, in the wake of the general election, the right hon. Gentleman’s party passed a devolution package meaning

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that, on issues such as health and education, he had no right to vote on issues affecting his constituents, but that people sitting in the Assembly did. Members of the House of Lords can vote on English matters, but it is of course for the Assembly in Cardiff to vote on matters affecting his constituents in areas such as health, education and transport.

Andrew Gwynne: If the Leader of the House does not think it is unfair for Lord Thomas of Gresford to be able make a judgment on legislation on which my right hon. Friend the Member for Delyn (Mr Hanson) cannot make a judgment, what about Lord Roberts of Llandudno, who has fought five general elections for the Liberal Democrats and lost all five, but will be able to make laws on which Welsh MPs cannot have a say?

Chris Grayling: The irony of this, as I keep saying, is that both the hon. Gentleman and the right hon. Member for Delyn (Mr Hanson)will continue to be able to vote on matters relating to health, education and other issues in relation to the constituencies of Government Members, with the exception of those who represent Wales and Scotland, whereas they cannot vote on those issues in relation to their own constituencies. That is the point of the devolution settlement that Labour set up.

Mark Spencer (Sherwood) (Con): Will the Leader of the House reflect on the abbreviation for this legislation, which seems to have been boiled down to EVEL? Will he reflect on changing it to something more appropriate, such as laws only votable in England? The House could then could vote for LOVE, not EVEL.

Chris Grayling: I cannot confess to being the greatest fan of the acronym, but, sadly, that had been set before I came along. I rather like my hon. Friend’s alternative. Certainly, as I always say to my friends in the Scottish National party in this House, we may disagree violently about the future of our Union and we may disagree on a whole range matters, but I value our debates and their presence in the House. We will continue to have a lively time, but I hope also a friendly time, working together.

Dr Philippa Whitford (Central Ayrshire) (SNP): I was shocked to hear on Radio Scotland this morning, across my porridge, a senior member of the Secretary of State for Scotland’s team criticising the involvement of SNP Members in the debate on assisted dying. He picked out those who voted and particularly those who spoke. I understand that there are Members in the Chamber who feared we would come down with claymores to smash up the furniture, but when we speak up for Scotland in Committees and in debates, I and my colleagues do our best to be constructive and professional. As I was the only SNP Member who spoke in that debate, I was very upset and hurt to hear that said. I have to say that if someone thinks the introduction of assisted dying here would have no impact in Scotland, that shows the difficulty of picking the Bills from which we should be excluded.

Chris Grayling: That is precisely why I am not proposing that the hon. Lady should be excluded from any debate or vote that she may currently take part in.

Dr Whitford: It was a senior member of the Secretary of State’s team.

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Chris Grayling: I say to the hon. Lady today, as Leader of the House, that I do not want her to be excluded from any debate or vote that she may currently take part in on the Floor of this House. Nothing in the proposals will make that happen. As I keep saying to the SNP’s shadow Leader of the House, I would not take a step that prevented us, in the rare moment when it might happen, from walking through the Division Lobby together, perhaps because we had all come to the view that some of the views of the Labour party were beyond the pale. There are quite a few these days that look like they might be just that.

Several hon. Members rose

Chris Grayling: I will take a couple more interventions and then make some progress.

Karen Lumley (Redditch) (Con): When my hon. Friend the Member for Pudsey (Stuart Andrew) and I campaigned for a no vote in Wales, we warned that this would happen. Does my right hon. Friend agree that these proposals are the only fair way to move matters forward?

Chris Grayling: I rather agree. It is simply not tenable for us to say that devolution for Wales is good, devolution for Scotland is good and devolution for Northern Ireland is good, but that the English should have no powers at all. All we are saying is, should a future United Kingdom Parliament, or indeed this one, seek to impose something on the English that the English do not want for their constituencies, when it is a matter purely for England, it is surely not unreasonable that they should grant their consent before it happens. We are using the same principle of a legislative consent motion that applies in the devolution settlements.

Several hon. Members rose

Chris Grayling: I will take one more intervention before I make a bit of progress, and then I will take a couple more.

Kevin Brennan: Will the Leader of the House confirm that these changes to Standing Orders make it practically impossible for any Conservative Welsh Member of Parliament to be appointed a Minister of the Crown in any area where the jurisdiction is devolved?

Chris Grayling: No, I do not accept that at all. Indeed, it has already happened. The former Member of Parliament, John Reid, was Health Secretary while representing a Scottish constituency over which he had no jurisdiction in health matters. I happen to believe that we want the best people in this House to do the jobs. Nothing in the proposals will prevent that.

I will make a few points about the Procedure Committee and then take more interventions. I recognise that this is a change to the workings of the House. I have therefore sought to ensure that the views of the House about the process are taken into account. I have given evidence to the Procedure Committee and the Scottish Affairs Committee. I am grateful to the members of both Committees for their work. I have met representatives of the parties across the House and many individual Members over the past few weeks. I listened to the comments that were made earlier in the summer and

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provided extra time for debate. I extended the timeframe beyond the original 100-day commitment. I also ensured that this debate took place after the Procedure Committee had completed its work.

Sir Edward Leigh (Gainsborough) (Con): Will my right hon. Friend give way on that point?

Chris Grayling: I will just make some points about the Procedure Committee’s recommendations, then I will happily take my hon. Friend’s intervention. I thank him and other members of the Procedure Committee for the work that they have done since July. The interim advice they gave me in September, which was published this week, contained some valuable thoughts. I have made amendments to the proposed Standing Orders to take into account many of their recommendations.

I have accepted the Procedure Committee’s proposal to give Mr Speaker discretion over whether to give his reasons for decisions during the trial period. I have accepted its proposal to allow the Speaker to appoint two senior Members to assist him in the task. I have accepted that it should be set out formally in Standing Orders that Members who represent constituencies other than those in England and Wales should, subject to the decision of the Chair, be able to take part in debates in the Legislative Grand Committee stage, should they choose to do so. I have accepted its proposal to strengthen the guidance notes to make it easier for all Members to work with the new process.

The Procedure Committee made a point about trials and pilots. In practice, we are embarking on the kind of trial process that it asked for in the report. My estimate, subject to confirmation through the new certification process, is that the change will affect three or four Bills in the next few months, as well as statutory instruments, before we get to the review that I have committed to undertaking. We will effectively have a trial period to road test the proposals and will then review them in discussion with the different Committees of the House.

Sir Edward Leigh: I am really grateful to my right hon. Friend for the careful way in which he has listened to our representations. He is a model Minister in that respect. He knows that I have raised on many occasions the problem of Barnett consequentials. It might be argued in Scotland that its Members do not have exactly the same voting rights and that that affects spending in Scotland because of the Barnett formula. As part of the piloting process, will he undertake to review that matter and report back to the House, so that if there are Barnett consequentials, we can think again about that point?

Chris Grayling: I have looked carefully at that issue, as my hon. Friend knows. I have not identified measures outside the estimates process that create a Barnett consequential. I have been very clear in the proposed changes to Standing Orders that the estimates process remains outside the proposals. I have asked officials to continue to monitor this matter over the period leading up to the review and to produce information that can be presented to the House in due course. I give my hon. Friend and the House a commitment that if we identify a problem in this area, I will return to it as part of the review.

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I intend this to be a process of development, rather than a one-off. The House will undoubtedly take decisions over the next 12 months about how we want to modify the system to make it work. That is right and proper with a new approach. I give my hon. Friend an absolute commitment that that information will be provided to the House ahead of the review.

Chris Bryant (Rhondda) (Lab): I am very grateful for all the things the Leader of the House has said about the idea that this should be a pilot that we should engage in for a period and then review. We tabled amendment (e), which would mean that the changes to Standing Orders would be in place until the end of the parliamentary Session—that is to say, until next May. That seems perfectly in line with what the Procedure Committee said. It would provide the opportunity, as the Leader of the House has just said, to review the operation of four or five Bills and several statutory instruments. If the Government then wanted to come forward with another set of measures, whether they were identical measures because everybody thought that they were working wonderfully or different measures, they would be able to do so. Would that not be a sensible way to proceed that would allow him to take the whole House with him?

Chris Grayling: I studied the hon. Gentleman’s amendment carefully. There are two problems with it, or two reasons why our approach is right. First, it prejudges the length of the Session. We have not announced the length of the Session. Opposition Members will remember that the first Session of the last Parliament was two years long. Therefore, in some circumstances, his proposal would extend the trial period rather than reduce it. We do not know the date of the end of the Session, so it is difficult to commit to a pilot of that length.

Secondly, if the Session does finish next spring, we will not even, in my judgment, be able to test to the level recommended by the Procedure Committee, because not enough Bills to which these procedures apply would have been laid before the House. I understand the point the hon. Gentleman is making but, with respect, I think the approach we have taken is better and I intend to stick to it.

Mr Alistair Carmichael (Orkney and Shetland) (LD): Is the Leader of the House aware that yesterday in the other place, Lord Butler of Brockwell described the process that he is outlining to the House as one whereby,

“We will jump over the cliff and grab a bush on the way down so that we can review our decision about whether we were right to do so”.—[Official Report, House of Lords, 21 October 2015; Vol. 765, c. 750.]

Why is the Leader of the House so resistant to the proposal from the other place that we should have a Joint Committee of both Houses to establish the best way of moving forward and building a consensus?

Chris Grayling: I cannot agree to the message from the House of Lords or amendment (a), which was tabled by the hon. Member for Nottingham North—I have great respect for the hon. Gentleman, as he knows, and for the House of Lords—and I invite the House not to do so. To do so would be to remove this process from the first Session of this Parliament. We would not be

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able to trial the measures until the second Session. That would be a direct contravention of our manifesto commitment to introduce the measure within the first 100 days. It would also invite the House of Lords to be directly involved in shaping the Standing Orders of this House—something that would require pretty extensive debate here before we did it. I think many Members would doubt that that was the right thing to do.

I do recognise the concerns in the other place about constitutional change. I have therefore written to the Chair of the Lords Constitution Committee in response to those concerns. I am grateful that the Committee has responded to say that it has agreed to undertake its own review of the impact of the proposals, including their effect on the House of Lords and their wider implications for the constitution as a whole. I hope that the work of that Committee and of the Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee will complement each other, that they will work in partnership in this area and that they will make recommendations ahead of the review that I have committed to carry out next year. I hope that we will also receive work from the other Committees in that time.

I therefore ask the House to reject amendment (a) and graciously to decline the request from the Lords. However, I want to send the clear message to the Lords—indeed, I have already done so—that I want their input.

John Redwood (Wokingham) (Con): England has waited 18 years to get some justice and power back under this lopsided devolution settlement that was forced on us against our will all those years ago. Can my right hon. Friend think of any good reason an English MP could give for voting against these very moderate proposals? Does he notice how few English Labour voices there are in the Chamber? They must be ashamed of their own party’s policy.

Chris Grayling: It baffles me that English Labour MPs seem to be set against these sensible and balanced proposals. They do not exclude anyone from debate, but they give the English a clearer voice so that they can say no to something being imposed on them against their wishes.

Mr Angus Brendan MacNeil (Na h-Eileanan an Iar) (SNP): A few weeks ago, the Leader of the House was talking about English votes for English laws, whereas today it has been about English and Welsh votes for English and Welsh laws. Will he develop this a bit further: can we have Scottish votes for Scots laws? Might I hope that he will support a 10-minute rule Bill by the end of November containing a triple lock that would enable the Scots Government, the Scots Parliament and Scots MPs here to say what should be happening for Scotland and that it will not be blocked by Conservative Members?

Chris Grayling: The reason we have taken this approach and the reason we are concerned about England is because Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all have their own legislative Assemblies. The difference in Wales is that its devolution settlement is different from the ones in Scotland and in Northern Ireland. Key areas such as policing and justice are not devolved in Wales,

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and I would not countenance a situation where Welsh MPs were disadvantaged in debates on those issues. When I talk about this sometimes being English and Welsh votes for English and Welsh laws, it is to protect the interests of Welsh MPs as well. I hope that the hon. Member for Rhondda (Chris Bryant), a Welsh MP, will bear that in mind.

David T. C. Davies (Monmouth) (Con) rose

Chris Grayling: I give way to the Chair of the Select Committee on Welsh Affairs.

David T. C. Davies: Does my right hon. Friend agree that these modest proposals will still allow Welsh and Scottish MPs to have far more influence over policy in the health service in England than any English MP currently has over the health service in Scotland or Wales? Why does he think some Members are so determined to prevent English MPs from having the same powers as they fought for in Wales and Scotland?

Chris Grayling: This still baffles me, because Scottish and Welsh Members can vote on education in my constituency but not on education in their own. All I am asking for is the ability to say no if the UK as a whole tries to impose something on my constituents that my constituents and their counterparts around England do not want. That seems to be entirely reasonable.

Lady Hermon (North Down) (Ind): Will the Leader of the House clarify, for the benefit of all of us in this House, the composition of the Legislative Grand Committee for England, Wales and Northern Ireland? As drafted, it appears to include

“all Members representing constituencies in Northern Ireland.”

As he will know, there are MPs who represent constituencies in Northern Ireland who, shamefully, do not take their seats in this House and are absentee MPs—there are four Sinn Féin Members. Please reassure me that they are not going to be serving on this Legislative Grand Committee.

Chris Grayling: They cannot; if they do not turn up, they cannot participate. They are Members of this House but they do not turn up and so they cannot participate. That situation is not going to change, be it in relation to something that is before the whole House or to a Committee.

Hywel Williams: Can the Leader of the House explain how we would solve the conundrum of the health service in England being changed in the north-west of England, given that it serves so many people in north Wales? People in north Wales would be taking advantage of a service that had changed substantially but their representatives would have been excluded from the discussion.

Chris Grayling: I absolutely understand the hon. Gentleman’s frustration. He is not responsible for the Administration in Wales. He will know, rightly, that the Administration here in Westminster are doing a much better job of running the health service than the Labour

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Administration in Cardiff. I can understand why Welsh constituents look longingly over the border into England on health matters, but I simply remind him that a consequence of devolution is that if health is devolved in Wales, it is the responsibility of Assembly Members to discuss and debate those health matters. The opportunity I am leaving him—I am not taking it away from him—is to speak on and vote on health matters across the border in England. All I am asking when he does so is that if he is part of a United Kingdom bloc of Members of Parliament seeking to impose change on the English, the English should have the right to give their consent before that change happens.

Several hon. Members rose

Chris Grayling: I am giving to give way but then I must make some progress, because so many people want to speak.

Stephen Metcalfe (South Basildon and East Thurrock) (Con): Is the point not a simple one? Does my right hon. Friend agree that the people of Basildon and Thurrock will find it very hard to understand how people who are not affected by legislation can force it on those who are? What this measure does is resolve that issue.

Chris Grayling: I could not have said it better myself. My hon. Friend is absolutely right and puts his finger on the heart of these reforms. They are fair and sensible. Whatever Opposition Members say today, I am entirely comfortable, as a Unionist, in presenting them to this House.

Several hon. Members rose

Chris Grayling: I am going to make some progress because I am aware that many people want to speak. I wish to touch on one point relating to the McKay report and how some Members of this House are interpreting what it says. I have thought about this very carefully. I have talked to Sir William and looked at his report, and I am very clear that our proposals are consistent with the recommendations made by the team who worked on it. In particular, I draw the House’s attention to his core recommendation:

“A principle common to the devolution arrangements for Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales exists on which to base proposals for modifying the procedures of the House of Commons to mitigate the unfairness felt by people in England. The constitutional principle that should be adopted for England (and for England-and-Wales) is that: decisions at the United Kingdom level with a separate and distinct effect for England (or for England-and-Wales) should normally be taken only with the consent of a majority of MPs for constituencies in England (or England and-Wales). This principle should be adopted by a resolution of the House of Commons”.

That is what we are putting in place today. It is worth saying that Sir William’s report was produced before the Scottish referendum and before the new devolution changes set out in the Smith commission report existed, but we have still remained faithful to the principle.