Speeches

Schools Bill

My Lords, in moving Amendment 64B I shall also speak to other amendments in my name. I declare an interest, as I have before, that I am from a home-educating family, which I am proud of. I wish there were more noble Lords in this Chamber who had the privilege of being part of home education. As was discussed earlier, the Bill really should not exist in its current form. It has been thoroughly gutted already, and there were good reasons for that. The reasons for gutting the earlier parts of the Bill are no different from the reasons for ...

Schools Bill

My Lords, I shall speak to my Amendment 171X on the proposal for an ombudsman to provide protection for home educators. I support many other amendments in the group. I pay tribute to my noble friend Lord Lucas for putting this focus on the need to provide protection from overzealous local authorities. I also need to apologise for not speaking at Second Reading due to a variety of home and personal health matters. I also need to declare an interest, in that I am part of a family that home educates. I cannot disclose all the details, which are private, ...

House of Lords governance

My Lords, I thank my noble friend the Senior Deputy Speaker for tabling this debate and declare my interest as a partner of the Shaftesbury Partnership, which is exploring some of the tools for governance that I will mention in my speech. As is right with this House, given its rich and long history as an essential part of our unwritten constitution, it is normal to expect it to flex as times and needs change, while rightly maintaining our traditions. This is no different when it comes to how it is itself governed. I fear, however, that there is a tendency to ...

EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement

"My Lords, I too congratulate my noble friend Lord Wharton of Yarm on an excellent maiden and declare my interests in the register. In view of the time, I will focus on what we now need to do given that the PM has kept his promise to leave and has agreed a deal. Brexit and many other cataclysmic events in recent times, including Covid, have highlighted several things. First, the biggest challenge we face in the world today, even with Covid causing untold havoc, is how to share power peacefully, whether you are a President, the head of an institution ...

Affordable Housing

My Lords, I thank the noble Lord, Lord Shipley, for tabling this timely debate. I declare an interest as an adviser and director of various real estate related companies, as outlined in my register of interests. For too long in this country, we have allowed ourselves to be trapped in a siloed way of thinking about creating new communities. The truth is that we need to come together across divides to innovate in every area. We need to recreate the bottom rungs of the ladder to owning not just property, but your own business, vehicle, and, one day, even robots, ...

Brexit: Competition and State Aid (EUC Report)

              Source: Hansard My Lords, I, too, thank the noble Lord, Lord Whitty, for tabling this debate and for his very able chairmanship of the committee, and in particular for steering us through the creation of this report. I declare my interests as set out in the register. Broadly speaking, I am relatively happy with the findings of the report and its recommendations, but with some significant caveats. It is a solid document and I pay tribute to my fellow committee members, our adviser and our officials, as well as to those who contributed ...

Brexit: Trade in Non-financial Services (EUC Report)

              Source Hansard My Lords, I thank the noble Lord, Lord Whitty, for tabling this debate. I, too, am a member of the sub-committee that produced this report. I pay tribute to our chairman and my colleagues for the work that has gone into it. I refer Members to my register of interests. I welcome this report and the logical way it analyses the largest services sectors to get a more granular understanding of the issues involved. There is always a danger that you miss out details using this approach, both in the emerging ...

National Citizen Service Bill

Source Hansard My Lords, I speak today with a tremendous sense of delight at the arrival of this Bill, and its reception so far. I declare an interest as one of those who helped early on to establish the groundwork for what became the Challenge Network charity, before the 2010 election, to create one of the original pilots of the National Citizen Service programme, where I was involved from as early as 2008 - and as part of the team who helped write the policy into the 2010 Conservative manifesto, and I subsequently advised on it from within the Cabinet ...

Civilian Use of Drones (EUC Report)

              Source: Hansard I, too, want to thank my noble friend Lady O’Cathain for instigating this debate. I declare an interest as a recently signed-up member of the present EU sub-committee, as well as having various commercial interests, as can be found in the Lords’ register, in relation to cutting-edge technologies and insurance respectively. The publication of this report and today’s debate on its findings and recommendations are extremely timely, given the huge growth in the use of drones for commercial and leisure uses, and the potential benefits and risks that this growth poses ...

House of Lords – reduction in the number of Peers

              Source: Hansard My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Williams, for tabling this very timely debate. I wish to declare an interest as the youngest Member of, and a relative newcomer to, your Lordships’ House. In my brief four or so years as a toddler here, it has occurred to me that any discussion of how this place should be reformed ought always to start on the basis of what it is for rather than primarily the process by which its Members are chosen or how long they stay. As ...