Part of Media Bill - Report and Third Reading – in the House of Lords am 5:44 pm ar 23 Mai 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Lord Bassam of Brighton Lord Bassam of Brighton Shadow Spokesperson (Science, Innovation and Technology), Shadow Spokesperson (Culture, Media and Sport) 5:44, 23 Mai 2024

My Lords, I sort of gave my thanks yesterday, as I was not really sure what we would be doing today—and I was not alone. I want to thank the noble Lord, Lord Parkinson, again for his courtesy. We are extraordinarily grateful for the two amendments that he accepted, which my noble friend Lady Thornton and I were very keen to see inserted in the Bill, along with others in your Lordships’ House.

It is always a joy to work with the noble Baroness, Lady Bonham-Carter, and—from the far reaches of the back of the Lib Dem Benches—it is now an even greater pleasure to work with the noble Lord, Lord McNally. Actually, I have an anecdote about death and buses, which I am quite determined to tell, now I think about it. There is a custom in Brighton for its buses to have put on their side or their front the names of well-known local personalities who have, sadly, deceased. So well-known was the lead local government correspondent of the Argus that the bus company decided that he had died, so they put his name on the front of the bus—only to discover that he wrote a column the following week saying, “No, actually, I’m still here. You’ll have to wait”.

I thank our back office team, including Clare Scally and Grace Wright, for the work they did in making sure my noble friend Lady Thornton and I spoke words that were reasonably sensible, sane and well-researched from the Dispatch Box. I have already thanked the noble Baroness, Lady Stowell, for her contribution, and I do again. Today’s debate—passionate as ever—was focused well on an important and contentious subject. It is one that no doubt the House will return to in different guises in the future. I thank my noble friends Lord Watson and Lord Watts for their contributions. Their views are important.

With that, we wish the Bill well, as it is important. Broadcasters have been buzzing me on my email and message system, as they have been to other noble Lords, to encourage us to get this Bill over the line because it is terribly important for the future of public service broadcasting. We all want to get this right, because it is an important element of our democratic process. We know that it is a business and industry of excellence that we wish to support. With that said, I wish the Bill well on its way.

Bill passed and returned to the Commons with amendments.