Lord Desai Portrait

Lord Desai

Crossbench - Life peer

Became Member: 5th June 1991


Lord Desai is not a member of any APPGs
4 Former APPG memberships
Aid Match, Electric Aviation, Foreign Affairs, India (Trade and Investment)
Finance Bill Sub-Committee
4th Nov 2019 - 8th Sep 2020
EU Financial Affairs Sub-Committee
12th Jul 2016 - 23rd Apr 2020
Intergovernmental Organisations Committee
15th Nov 2007 - 7th Jul 2008
Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee
16th Jun 2001 - 7th May 2005
Merits of Statutory Instruments Committee
17th Dec 2003 - 18th Nov 2004
Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee
17th Dec 2003 - 18th Nov 2004
Science and Technology Committee (Lords)
12th Nov 1991 - 3rd Nov 1994
Science and Technology: Sub-Committee I
19th May 1992 - 3rd Nov 1994


Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Lord Desai has voted in 225 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Lord Desai Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.

Sparring Partners
Lord Bethell (Conservative)
(7 debate interactions)
Baroness Barran (Conservative)
(4 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Cabinet Office
(26 debate contributions)
Leader of the House
(17 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(16 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Health and Social Care Levy Act 2021
(4,320 words contributed)
Elections Act 2022
(3,134 words contributed)
Finance Act 2024
(1,365 words contributed)
Financial Services Bill 2019-21
(1,189 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all Lord Desai's debates

Lords initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Lord Desai, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.


1 Bill introduced by Lord Desai


First reading took place on 6 September. This stage is a formality that signals the start of the Bill's journey through the Lords.Second reading - the general debate on all aspects of the Bill - is yet to be scheduled.The 2016-2017 session of Parliament has prorogued and this Bill will make no further progress.

Lords - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading : House Of Lords
Tuesday 6th September 2016

Lord Desai has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


Latest 7 Written Questions

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
15th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the recommendation of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child that the UK should prevent the use of religion as a selection criterion for school admission in England.

The UK is a signatory of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child’s (UNCRC), and the department will consider carefully the Committee’s recommendations. The government does not always agree with, or implement, UNCRCs recommendations, and there is no requirement to do so.

Mainstream state-funded schools designated with a religious character, commonly known as faith schools, may choose to give priority for places to applicants on the basis of faith, but only where they are oversubscribed. Where they have places available, they must admit all children who apply without reference to faith. Faith-based oversubscription criteria provide a means to support parents to have their children educated in line with their religious and philosophical beliefs, where they wish to do so.

Some faith schools only prioritise a proportion of places with reference to faith, and others do not use faith-based criteria at all. Free schools which are designated with a religious character must allocate at least 50% of places without reference to faith, where they are oversubscribed.

The School Admissions Code exists to ensure that admission arrangements are fair, clear and objective, and is binding on all state mainstream schools, including faith schools. Where anyone is concerned that a school’s admission arrangements are unfair or unlawful, the department encourages them to refer an objection to the independent Schools Adjudicator.

15th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the recommendation of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child that the UK should repeal laws requiring daily acts of collective worship in schools.

The government believes that collective worship is an important part of school life, encouraging pupils to reflect on the concept of belief and the role it plays in the traditions and values of this country. The legislation surrounding collective worship is flexible and allows schools to tailor their provision to suit their pupils’ spiritual needs, as well as providing an opportunity for schools and academies to develop and celebrate their ethos and values. The law also affords a right of withdrawal, which can be exercised by pupils over the age of 16 and by parents of pupils under the age of 16.

The government’s assessment is that the current legislation appropriately balances the rights of parents and of children, and has no plans to review its policy on collective worship or the associated right to withdraw as it relates to children attending state funded schools in England.

17th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to resolve the discrimination identified in the High Court case Minister for Justice and Equality v Harrison [2020] IEHC 29.

The judgement in this case relating to the extradition of an individual was issued by the High Court in Ireland and it is not for the Government to comment.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
17th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government when they expect to publish a response to the Law Commission report Celebrating Marriage: A New Weddings Law (HC 557), published on 19 July.

We are taking the time to consider the report recommendations fully. We will publish a response to the report in due course.

16th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the possibility of extending legal recognition to humanist marriages in premises approved for civil marriages and civil partnerships in advance of the outcome of the Law Commission review of marriage law; and, if any such assessment concluded that such an extension was not possible, why not.

In 2014, the Government published a consultation paper and response assessing the potential merits of provision for non-religious belief marriages. This concluded that the matter was complex, and that by allowing Humanists to solemnise marriages in unrestricted locations, the Government would create a provision for Humanists that would not be available to all groups.

To ensure we are considering the implications of changing the law on marriage for all groups, we invited the Law Commission to undertake a review which is currently underway and is expected to report in July of this year. By looking at the law comprehensively, the Law Commission will seek to put forward proposals that would ensure that, insofar as possible, groups and couples are all subject to the same rules and the same level of regulation. That reform is not possible by only authorising Humanist weddings, even on a temporary basis pending the Law Commission report.

The Government will carefully consider the Law Commission’s recommendations when the final report is published in July, and it is right for us to wait for the outcome of the report before amending marriage law any further.

5th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they expect the Law Commission to complete its current review of marriage law; and what plans they have to introduce legal recognition of humanist marriages after that review.

The Government announced in June 2019 that the Law Commission will conduct a fundamental review of the law on how and where people can legally marry in England and Wales. As part of that review, the Government invited the Law Commission to make recommendations about how marriage by humanist and other non-religious belief organisations could be incorporated into a revised or new scheme for all marriages that is simple, fair and consistent.

The Commission initially delayed its publication of the consultation paper due to the Coronavirus pandemic, but the consultation launched on 3 September 2020 and will last until 3 December 2020. The law on wedding ceremonies is a complex and important area of the law. The Commission considered it essential to conduct a proper consultation with the wide range of interested groups and individuals who would be affected by reform. It did not feel that publishing during the initial period of public emergency would achieve this, particularly when weddings were being postponed.

The Commission expects to report to Government with its recommendations in the second half of next year. The Government will decide on provision on the basis of the Law Commission's recommendations.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
5th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, following the High Court judgement in R (Harrison and others) v Secretary of State for Justice [2020] EWHC 2096 (Admin), what plans they have to extend legal recognition to humanist marriages, after the current Law Commission review of marriages concludes.

The Government announced in June 2019 that the Law Commission will conduct a fundamental review of the law on how and where people can legally marry in England and Wales. As part of that review, the Government invited the Law Commission to make recommendations about how marriage by humanist and other non-religious belief organisations could be incorporated into a revised or new scheme for all marriages that is simple, fair and consistent.

The Commission initially delayed its publication of the consultation paper due to the Coronavirus pandemic, but the consultation launched on 3 September 2020 and will last until 3 December 2020. The law on wedding ceremonies is a complex and important area of the law. The Commission considered it essential to conduct a proper consultation with the wide range of interested groups and individuals who would be affected by reform. It did not feel that publishing during the initial period of public emergency would achieve this, particularly when weddings were being postponed.

The Commission expects to report to Government with its recommendations in the second half of next year. The Government will decide on provision on the basis of the Law Commission's recommendations.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)