Parliament

Business of the House

Published date : 07 March, 2024
Following the frankly appalling behaviour of the Labour party leadership to disrupt the SNP’s Opposition day debate on 21 February —[Interruption.] Obviously, they do not like the truth. The Leader of the House told the House that she was sympathetic to the idea not only of the SNP getting another Opposition day debate but of taking it from the allocation given to the Labour party. Could she update the House on how her thinking has developed on those points?

Further to that, on the issue of ministerial responsibility, yesterday it was revealed that neither the Conservatives’ branch manager in Holyrood nor their Energy Minister supports the Government’s energy policy. Will the Leader of the House confirm whether the principle of collective responsibility in government applies to junior Ministers? If so, what advice would she give to any Minister who is unable to support such a key plank of Government policy, either publicly or in any Budget votes ahead?

Finally, the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology has cost the taxpayer £15,000 after falsely accusing an academic of supporting Hamas. Could we have a debate on the limits of privilege, specifically whether it is now the Government’s policy that Ministers can say whatever they like outside Parliament and be financially indemnified from the consequences by the taxpayer? Does she consider it the taxpayer’s job to underwrite financially the Conservative party’s culture wars whenever its members overstep the mark?

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