Commons Gallery: the key action for the week beginning 11 December

Posted On: 
8th December 2017

Sebastian Whale looks at what’s coming up in the Chamber and Westminster Hall this week 

Sir Mike Penning has a debate on hormone pregnancy tests this Thursday
PA Images

Summit else

The EU (Withdrawal) Bill proceeds to day six and seven of its committee stage on Tuesday and Wednesday. Fresh from his select committee grilling, David Davis is due to appear before MPs in the Commons on Thursday morning during Exiting the EU Questions.

The main course of the Brexit dinner is being served in Brussels at a key EU summit on Thursday and Friday. The Prime Minister will likely give a statement to the House on Monday 18 December to update MPs of the progress made at the meeting of EU heads of state.


On Thursday, Sir Mike Penning has a debate responding to a report by the Commission on Human Medicines which said it found no causal link between hormone pregnancy tests (HPTs) such as Primodos and damage to unborn children. MPs branded the report a “whitewash” as the government-led review was never asked to find a causal link and instead a possible association between the use of HPTs between 1953 and 1975 and adverse outcomes in pregnancy. There were also claims that an original draft of the report said it “was not possible to reach a definitive conclusion” because the evidence was so scarce.

Penning’s motion will call for a public inquiry to review the evidence on a causal association between HPTs on pregnancies and to consider the regulations that allowed the tests to be handed out without prescriptions. Speaking to The House, Mr Penning said: “What we’re looking for, very simply, is natural justice.”

The former defence minister believes he has enough cross-party support for the motion to pass on the floor of the House. “For years and years, Hillsborough was brushed under the carpet and ignored, and the Prime Minister said ‘no, there’s something smelly here. We need to find out what went on’. I want her to show that sort of courage for these people that have been suffering for so long.”

Elsewhere, Labour MP Grahame Morris has a backbench business debate on the WASPI campaign this Thursday. The motion calls on the government to bring forward legislative proposals for a “non-means tested bridging pension scheme for women born on or after 6 April 1950 who are affected by the Pension Act 1995 and Pension Act 2011”. Morris is hopeful the motion will be put to a vote.

MP to raise 2009 Tottenham murder

Late on Monday will be Labour MP David Lammy’s adjournment debate on the case of Abdulkarim Boudiaf, a teenager who was shot dead in his constituency of Tottenham in March 2009. No one was ever convicted of the murder and his family continue to fight for justice.

Westminster Hall

Labour MP Jess Phillips has a debate in Westminster Hall on funding for domestic violence refuges at 9.30 Tuesday morning. Tory MP Zac Goldsmith follows with a discussion on government policy on animal welfare. Highlights on Wednesday include Labour MP Carolyn Harris’ debate on parental rights of prisoners (9.30), Tory MP Gordon Henderson’s session on cliff erosion on the Isle of Sheppey (11.00) and Labour MP Ged Killen’s debate on male suicide (16.00).