Sir Julian Lewis: I had not intended to intervene in this urgent question, but I was delighted to hear my right hon. Friend the Minister say that the Government are proceeding with introducing the anti-SLAPPs [Strategic lawsuits against public participation] legislation, as I had seen a report suggesting that it had somewhat fallen off the agenda. Will he tell us when, given the short time left in the life of this Parliament, the anti-SLAPPs legislation will be brought forward? There is cross-party consensus that it is extremely important and valuable.
[The Minister for Crime, Policing and Fire (Chris Philp): I agree with all my right hon. Friend’s sentiments, particularly that about the importance of anti-SLAPP legislation, to which the Government are committed. On the timing, that is out of my hands. I have been informed that it will happen as soon as parliamentary time allows, but I am sure that, if he makes representations to the Security Minister and others, he will receive a fuller answer.
Sir Desmond Swayne: If I may be of some assistance to my right hon. Friend the Member for New Forest East (Sir Julian Lewis), the Lord Chancellor told the House earlier today, did he not, that he was looking at using legislation already before the House for the SLAPPs?
Chris Philp: I regret that I was not in the Chamber earlier to hear that, but my right hon. Friend is an impeccable source of information and I am sure that Members will heed him accordingly.]