Pete Wishart (Perth and North Perthshire) (SNP)
I also thank the Leader of the House for announcing the business for next week. He is absolutely correct that it is right and appropriate that we remember the victims of 7/7 today on the 11th anniversary of that appalling and dreadful act.
It is also right and proper that business next week is dominated by the Chilcot report. We are all grateful that the Leader of the House has listened to the many representations made on all sides of the House for that debate to be extended to two days. Although we are grateful for the debate, most of us are starting to think about what will happen beyond it and in particular what means are available to hold those responsible for the disaster to account. The only people who have thus far lost their jobs in this whole calamity are two BBC journalists. I am sure that the public are now appalled and sickened after listening to Tony Blair—his defiance of the report, his lack of contrition and his half-hearted meaningless apology, with no recognition of the scale of the disaster. Will the Leader of the House explain what means and methods we have to hold those responsible to account in this House?
Although we are having two days of debate on the last Labour Government’s era-defining disaster, we still have not had one on this Government’s one. In the two weeks since this country made the decision on the European Union there has been no Government-sponsored debate on the EU referendum or Brexit. It is almost a dereliction of duty. I do not know whether it is a case of denial from the Government or they genuinely do not have a clue, although I suspect it is a combination of the two.
This morning we have heard all sorts of rumours on social media about a decision on Trident. Will the Leader of the House now explain when we will have the vote on Trident rather than leaving it to rumour and hearsay?
Lastly, may we have a debate on the overthrow of elites, in political parties in particular? This morning I looked up the definition of coup. Apparently it is the sudden appropriation of leadership or power and its replacement by other elites within the state apparatus. Today there is almost a physical boundary on the Opposition Benches between the two sides of the Labour party—we can see the barrier there. The chicken coupers must be the most inept coupers ever: no strategy, no challenger, just spineless inertia, with the vain hope that their Front-Bench team will somehow just go. Let us have that debate and see whether they can learn from the hand of history.