Home > economy, Ed Miliband, Gerry Adams, Parliament > Upcoming week in Westminster

Upcoming week in Westminster

January 31, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Highlights in Parliament this week include:

The Second Reading of the Health and Social Care Bill. The week gets off to a fast start as the contentious Health and Social Care Bill gets its Second Reading this morning. Remember, this is the Bill that will put GPs in charge of their own budgets. It is sure to be angrily opposed by the opposition who will claim that the Tories are stripping away public health care. And if we are to believe the Manchester Evening News, then the Bill will also see the maiden speech of the newest MP, Debbie Abrahams.

Opposition day on Wednesday. The two Opposition Day motions on Wednesday will target contentious issues for the Government. First, they attack Vince Cable’s Business, Innovation and Skills Department in light of the recent dissapointing growth figures. This is followed by criticism of plans to sell off England’s public forestry estate. Margaret Thatcher had similar plans in the early 80s, but quickly abandoned them. With public opinion firmly against such a proposal (see Saturday’s Guardian article), this could present an open goal for Ed Miliband and his team. Expect this to also pop up once of twice in Thursday’s DEFRA question.

Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill. Yes, the PVSC is back in the Lords for days 15, 16 and 17 of the Committee stage. With the deadline looming for when the Bill needs to return to the Commons in order to allow for a May 5 referendum, expect late-night sittings and more threats of gillotine motions.

Consumer Credit Regulation is a popular theme this week. Thursday’s Backbench Business debate focuses on payday lending, and is led by Stella Creasy (whose twitter feed is always worth a read). Ms Creasy also has a Private Members’ Bill due up on Friday focusing on the same topic, but as it is fourth on the list, it’s unlikely we’ll see it debate.

What we will see debated on Friday is Anna Soubry’s PMB on anonymity for arrested people who are yet to be charged. Speaking on Radio 4’s Today programme this morning, Ms Soubry outlined the inspiration behind her bill. A former journalist herself, she was shocked by the way in which a suspect in the Joanna Yeates murder investigation had his life displayed on the front pages of Britain’s papers, despite that fact that he was never charged. She told the show that in her day there was an unwritten law that the media did not give out names and addresses of suspects until they were charged.

We may also see the Gerry Adams situation sorted out as well as a statement on the political situation in Egypt.

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