Key bills face Lords debates this week


So, you think Parliament is all over for the summer? Wrong. The House of Lords is still going strong for another week and there is plenty for the insurance and financial services scetor to keep an eye on.

Thei highest profile debate will probably come on Wednesday when the Financial Services (Banking Reform) Bill starts its Lords' passage. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has waded in early with a plea not to lynch bankers on Radio 4 this morning and can probably be expected to run thorugh the same arguments in the Lords on Wednesday.

The Banking Bill debate might be the perfect opportunity for the maiden speech from the former Governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King, who conveniently takes his seat in the House of Lords later today. Already lined up for the debate are former Chancellor Lord (Nigel) Lawson and the chairman of the Treasury Select Committee in the last Parliament Lord (John) McFall.

This Bill is proving quite controversial and the Lords could well take a tougher stance than the government would like, especially over enforcing the ring-fencing of high-risk wholesale banking.

The Mesothelioma Bill reaches its final stage in the Lords later today. This has been beefed up by the Lords but it will be interesting to see if recent reassurances about keeping the insurance industry at arm's length from the compensation scheme have won over all of the critics.

But the big moment for the House of Lords will come on Wednesday when Leyton Orient chairman Barry Hearn appears before the Olympic and Paralympic Legacy Committee as he battles to stop the Olympic Stadium being taken over by West Ham. Does he have a point? Well, the picture of Leyton Orient's ground above was taken from the Olympic Park - how much closer do they want to be?

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