Orders of the Day — Scotland Bill (Programme)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:36 pm on 30th April 1998.

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Photo of Alex Salmond Alex Salmond Leader, Scottish National Party 7:36 pm, 30th April 1998

As an example to everyone else, I shall be very brief. The hon. Member for Guildford (Mr. St. Aubyn) has complained at length about a request that was made jointly by the parties, including the Conservative party. Some would argue that he has taken up the time of the House unnecessarily in making such a complaint, but I do not take that view, as I have been wondering about Conservative Back Benchers' fascination with the six and a half hours. It came to me in a blinding flash that the reason why Conservative Back Benchers are fascinated with the figure of six and a half is that that is exactly the opinion poll rating of the Tory party as reported in yesterday's Daily Record.

In the unlikely event that the contribution of the hon. Member for Guildford is broadcast in Scotland, many people may think that 6.5 per cent. is too high a rating for the Conservatives, given their attitude to the Bill and to Scottish matters in general.