Protest in Parliament at the Lack of Scrutiny or Adequate Debate Over Covid 19 Regulations
12.01 pm Friday July 24th 2020
House of Lords Debate on Cornoavirus Regulations
Lord Alton of Liverpool (CB) [V]
My Lords, the Minister referred to the situation in Leicester. There is concern here in the north-west about the situation in Blackburn. I hope he will refer in his reply to local restrictions.
I want to underline the concerns raised about scrutiny. Under the cover of Covid, we are in increasingly grave danger of legitimising these kinds of proceedings and putting a thin veneer of respectability on the actions of the Government. The Minister’s department should carefully study this week’s critical report by the Delegated Powers Committee on its approach to the new Medicines and Medical Devices Bill. By now he must surely be aware that parliamentarians are outraged by the failure to answer Parliamentary Questions, sometimes for months on end, as referred to by the noble Lord, Lord Harris.
These regulations, which significantly eased the lockdown from 4 July, have already been in effect for three weeks prior to this debate, so this is retrospective, simply going through the motions, with one-minute speeches that are inadequate to explore the implications for dissent and protest. The Commons has not even had that opportunity and has now risen for the Recess.
This simply will not do.