Question to the Home Office:
To ask the Leader of the House what assessment she has made of whether there has been any reduction in the capacity of the House to scrutinise the policies of Her Majesty’s Government caused by the suspension of by-elections for hereditary peers until 8 September; and what consideration she has given to extending that suspension to limit the size of the House and reduce costs.
The House has agreed to a number of temporary changes to its usual working practices and procedures in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. One of these changes was to delay any by-elections under Standing Order 10 until at least Tuesday 8 September. Without this delay a by-election would have had to be held before 26 June owing to a retirement.
In practical terms it is possible to put the arrangements in place for by-elections to be held in a way that reflects our current circumstances and ways of working. So a further extension is not necessary.