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This Week in Westminster - Friday 26 March 2021

Kerri Prince, BASW UK Public Affairs Lead, provides an update from Westminster

The Westminster Parliament yesterday went into a 3-week recess, with MPs not due to return to the House of Commons until 13th April. When they do return, the country will have seen further relaxation of lockdown measures. The ‘stay at home’ rule will have expired, outdoor gatherings of up to 6 people will be permitted, and non-essential retail including hairdressers will be open. The biggest change will be that hospitality venues such as pubs will be allowed to serve people outdoors.

Alongside the relaxation of many restrictions, MPs will return to a busy agenda. The Domestic Abuse Bill which has been in the Lords will come to the Commons once more for MPs to consider the amendments to the Bill that the Lords have made. The Police, Crime and Sentencing Bill will (at some point!) go to Committee Stage where MPs can amend the content of the Bill. For more information on the Bill, you can read our blog on what that means here.

Last week, as part of BASWs World Social Work Day 2021 celebrations, David Simmonds MP secured a Parliamentary debate to mark the day, and MPs spoke in support and recognition of the contribution that social workers make.

Proposals for immigration and asylum reform have also been published, and BASW will be responding to these. Issues include age assessment for unaccompanied children.

The Queen’s Speech will be taking place  on 11th May, which will contain a raft of legislation that the Government is planning on bringing forward.

Elections in England, Scotland and Wales take place on 6th May, and the results of this will give a bounce to some political parties – and a slump to others.

Whilst the next few weeks will be quiet from a parliamentary perspective, the May-July period will be busy in Westminster and I expect that there will be much to report.