Part of the debate – in the House of Commons am 3:56 pm ar 6 Chwefror 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Esther McVey Esther McVey Minister without Portfolio 3:56, 6 Chwefror 2024

It has been interesting to hear the Labour party—yes, the Labour party—make the case for the terms and conditions of workers to be changed unilaterally, in one day, and without consultation or a proper review. I am sure that Labour’s union paymasters will be fascinated to hear the case made by Emily Thornberry today.

I start by making it clear that the motion before the House departs from the fundamental principle that it is the Government of the day—that is the party that won the election, voted in by the public—who are able to determine the business of the House. That is something the House itself has long recognised, in Standing Order No. 14. By setting aside Standing Order No. 14, the motion would enable the Opposition to bring in a Bill and race it through Parliament by proceeding through all its substantive Commons stages in one day. The truth is that if the right hon. Lady is so keen to decide the business of the day in the House, she should not have supported her neighbour, Jeremy Corbyn, to become the Prime Minister. Given that she did support him, she clearly is not all that keen on being in charge of parliamentary business.

Although it is sometimes necessary for Parliament to legislate at pace—in exceptional circumstances and in response to emergencies—this is not a policy matter that warrants setting aside the procedure of the House. To do so would inhibit proper parliamentary scrutiny. We have just had an Opposition day debate on knife crime, which has gone through the roof in Sadiq Khan’s London. Does it not say everything about the priorities of the Labour party that it proposes emergency legislation in respect of this debate and not that one?