Clear the Lobby
by Sebastian Salek

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Hey team.

A slightly later newsletter than usual this week. Shoutout to all the sockets in my flat for conking out on a Sunday afternoon.

Watch out for a debut from our new Health Secretary.

Matt Hancock's updates have been a regular feature through the pandemic, so let's see if Sajid Javid steps up to the dispatch box in his first week in the job.

Tuesday and Wednesday are Estimates Days.

These are a chance for MPs to vote on departmental spending. Departments under the spotlight this time are Education; Housing, Communities and Local Government; and the Foreign Office.

But it shouldn't be too controversial: they can't increase budgets (only the government can do that) and Labour will be keen not to do anything that sets a precedent and would make life difficult for them if they were in power.

(Here's a good explainer of the estimates process if you're interested.)

And it's a return to ten minute rule motions.

The first of the parliamentary year come from the SNP's Patricia Gibson and Labour's Tulip Siddiq. Details below.

Until next week. In the meantime, feel free to tweet me, or just reply to this email.

Sebastian (@sebastiansalek)

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The Rating (Coronavirus) and Directors Disqualification (Dissolved Companies) Bill - 2nd reading
Applies to: England, Scotland (part), Wales, Northern Ireland (part)
Clarifies that altering the use of a building because of the pandemic (e.g. requirements to close or enforce social distancing) doesn't count as a "material change of circumstances" for business rates purposes. Many business owners had argued this because it can lower their building's assumed rental value, potentially reducing business rates in the future. Also closes a legal loophole by giving the Insolvency Service powers to investigate the directors of dissolved companies. Previously, some directors had fraudulently avoided repaying government-backed coronavirus loans by closing down their businesses.
Draft bill / Commons Library briefing


Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Bill
Legislates around leave and pay for employees who have lost a close family member. Ten minute rule motion presented by Patricia Gibson. More details not yet available.


Flexible Working Bill
Gives workers the right to flexible working from their first day. Requires employers to include flexible working in employment contracts and state what type of flexibility in job adverts. Ten minute rule motion presented by Tulip Siddiq.


Supply and Appropriation (Main Estimates) Bill - all stages
Authorises departmental funding until March next year. In practice, it wraps up all the Estimates Day debates and puts them into law.


No votes scheduled

Want more?
Check your MP's voting record and read the day's debates at TheyWorkForYou.



  • Northern Ireland (Ministers, Elections and Petitions of Concern) Bill - goes to committee stage
  • Armed Forces Bill - goes to report stage

Click here to read details of the bills in last week's newsletter.

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