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The Weekly Whip

Monday brought about key votes on the Immigration Bill; this was followed by hugely important votes on regional support and free school meals on Wednesday’s opposition day debate.

By Alex McBeath, Oct 26, 2020 4:10

Palace of Westminster.

Welcome to the Weekly Whip. Your one-stop shop for Lib Dem Parliamentary updates, covering the week that was and the week to come. 

For up to date information from the Lib Dem Whips Office, follow us on Twitter: @LibDemWhips

Weekly Whip w/c 19th October

Monday 19th October

Before we moved onto the main business of the day, we had two Ministerial Statements.

The first, from Michael Gove, was the latest instalment of the Brexit drama. This was earlier in the week when the Government was insisting the talks were off. Christine asked an important question about the supply of medicines after the transition period ends.

Matt Hancock then followed with his usual update to the house on the latest development with Covid. As usual, Munira led for us, and asked to see the memorandum of understanding between Test and Trace and the Police on their use of T+T data. Paul Scriven followed up in the Lords with a similar questions, something the Lords Minister has committed to providing.

The main business of the day was the hugely important Immigration Bill. Specifically, we were debating and voting on the amendments we had received from the Lords. 3 of these amendments were tabled by Lib Dem lords, see more information on them here.

We voted on a number of amendments, but they were unfortunately all defeated. The Government voted down Jonny Oates amendment, which would have required the Government to provide physical proof of settled status. The Government also voted down the Alf Dubb’s amendment, which would have provided protection for child refugees.


Tuesday 20th October

A very busy Monday was followed by a quieter day in terms of votes. Most of the day consisted of a passionate general debate on Black History Month. Wera, as our equalities spokesperson spoke for us.

Mid way through the day, we were given notification that the Government intended on making a statement at 7pm. This was to announce that Manchester had moved to Tier 3. Christine as our Economy spokesperson made the poignant point ‘what happened to whatever it takes.’


Wednesday 21st October

Wednesday was Opposition Day and Labour chose to focus on regional support measures (following the Manchester Tier 3 announcement) and Free school meals.

But before that we had 3 of our MPs asking the Prime Minister a question, Ed, Daisy and Sarah. They covered very varied topics including, financial support for families supporting disabled children, free school meals and Hammersmith Bridge.

Both opposition motions were hugely important debates that we were supportive of. Most importantly, our MPs made the point that we should follow the lead of Wales, and the Lib Dem Education Minister, by offering free school meals for children over the upcoming holidays. We were proud to support Labour motions and disappointed the government didn’t support them. All our MPs were in support of the motions, Sarah Olney and Ed Davey, couldn’t be present in Parliament for the day, so were paired with two conservative MPs.

Thursday 22nd October

Thursday, as usual, bring Business Questions. True to form, Elliot Colburn continued with his strange obsession of the Lib Dems by focusing his question around the Lib Dem Council in his constituency.


We also had the Economy Update from Rishi Sunak announcing his latest U-turn and his latest package of measures. Christine had her second opportunity this week to press the government on their economic support

We had another statement from government, on the disparate impact of Covid-19. Munira covered for us and asked about the support for the disabled community and the worrying impact Covid-19 has on them.

Munira had a busy Thursday as she was involved afterwards in the general debate on Covid.

Friday 23rd October

A quiet day of private members bills. The main thing to note is that Alistair’s Hong Kong Bill will now be getting it’s second reading on 15 January 2021.


Next week is Recess, an opportunity for MPs to go back to their constituency and catch up on local issues.

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