The Government is responsible for providing time in the House for Backbench Business Debates. Normality has not yet returned and no time has been granted. This has meant that my application to have a debate on Redundancies in the Aviation Sector has not been fitted in. This debate had cross-party support from over 150 MPs.
I aired my disappointment during Business Questions today that our debate will not be held before Parliament rises next week. Now we must wait for Parliament to return in September.
“May I join the call of the Chair of the Backbench Business Committee, the hon. Member for Gateshead (Ian Mearns), in appealing to the Leader of the House to grant more time for Back-Bench business debates? The first debate the hon. Gentleman mentioned, on aviation and redundancies, is in my name and has been signed by more than 150 MPs from across this place. I think we all see in our inbox a real desire from employees for MPs to stand up and give them their voice, and I would like to do so but cannot because that time has not been granted. May I please appeal to the Leader of the House, who always stood up for Back Benchers when he was sitting very close to where I am standing now, to give us more time to debate these important matters?”
“I hear some heckling that suggests I was sometimes accused of reclining when I was sitting in that corner, but my backbone has now been stiffened by joining the Front Bench.
My hon. Friend the Member for Bexhill and Battle (Huw Merriman) phrases himself brilliantly, because he says it has been impossible to raise these issues in the House, and then raises them in the House with great panache. He is absolutely right to do so; we have all had correspondence from constituents on aviation redundancies. These companies are vital to the economy and they are being supported in a number of ways by the Government with the time to pay scheme. The demand for debates will be met when we are fully back to normal, and we get back to normal step by step.”