Greater London Authority Bill (Supplemental Allocation of Time)

– in the House of Commons at 3:34 pm on 8th November 1999.

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Madam Speaker:

Get it right.

Photo of Keith Hill Keith Hill Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions

That is an unforgivable error, which no one could make in normal circumstances. At least I remember one thing: I am Minister for London.

I beg to move, That the Order of the House of 13th January 1999 relating to the Greater London Authority Bill be supplemented as follows:

Lords Amendments

1.—(1) Proceedings on further Consideration of Lords Amendments shall be completed at today's sitting and, if not previously concluded, shall be brought to a conclusion at ten o'clock.

(2) The remaining Lords Amendments shall be considered in the following order, namely:

Nos. 41 to 126, 499, 127 to 212, 703, 213 to 422, 541, 793, 423 to 425, 426 to 498, 500 to 540, 542 to 702, 704 to 792 and 794 to 820.

(3) Each part of the proceedings shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion at the time specified in the second column of the Table.

TABLE
Lords amendmentsTime for conclusion of proceedings
Nos. 41 to 126, 499, 127 to 212, 703, 213 to 422, 541, 793 and 423 to 4258.00 p.m.
Nos. 426 to 498, 500 to 450, 542 to 702, 704 to 792 and 794 to 82010.00 p.m.

2.—(1) This paragraph applies for the purpose of bringing proceedings to a conclusion in accordance with paragraph 1.

(2) The Speaker shall—

  1. (a) put forthwith any Question which has been proposed from the Chair and has not been decided and, if that Question is for the amendment of a Lords Amendment, a single Question on any further Amendments of the Lords Amendment moved by a Minister of the Crown and on any Motion made by a Minister of the Crown, That this House agrees or disagrees with the Lords in the Lords Amendment or, as the case may be, in the Lords Amendment as amended;
  2. (b) put forthwith a single Question on any Amendments moved by a Minister of the Crown to a Lords Amendment followed by the Question on any Motion made by a Minister of the Crown, That this House agrees or disagrees with the Lords in their Amendment, or as the case may be, in their Amendment as amended;
  3. (c) put forthwith the Question on any Motion made by a Minister of the Crown, That this House disagrees with the Lords in a Lords Amendment;
  4. (d) put forthwith the Question, That this House doth agree with the Lords in all the remaining Lords Amendments.

(3) As soon as the House has agreed or disagreed with the Lords in any of their Amendments, the Speaker shall put forthwith a single Question on any Amendments moved by a Minister of the Crown relevant to the Lords Amendment.

Subsequent stages

3. The Speaker shall put forthwith the Question on any Motion made by a Minister of the Crown for the consideration forthwith of any further Message from the Lords on the Bill.

4. The proceedings on any further Message from the Lords shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion one hour after their commencement.

5. For the purpose of bringing these proceedings to a conclusion the Speaker shall—

  1. (a) put forthwith any Question which has been proposed from the Chair and has not been decided, and the Question on any Motion made by a Minister of the Crown which is related to the Question already proposed from the Chair;
  2. (b) put forthwith the Question on any Motion made by a Minister of the Crown on or relevant to any of the remaining items in the Lords Message; and
  3. (c) put forthwith the Question, That this House agrees with the Lords in all the remaining Lords Proposals.

Reasons Committee

6. The Speaker shall put forthwith the Question on any Motion made by a Minister of the Crown for the appointment, nomination and quorum of a Committee to draw up Reasons and the appointment of its Chairman.

7.—(1) A Committee appointed to draw up Reasons shall report before the conclusion of the sitting at which it is appointed.

(2) Proceedings in the Committee shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion 30 minutes after their commencement.

(3) For the purpose of bringing any proceedings to a conclusion in accordance with sub-paragraph (2), the Chairman shall—

  1. (a) first put forthwith any Question which has been proposed from the Chair and has not been decided; and
  2. (b) then put forthwith successively Questions on motions which may be made by a Minister of the Crown for assigning a Reason for disagreeing with the Lords in one of their Amendments.

(4) The proceedings of the Committee shall be reported without any further Question being put.

Miscellaneous

8. This paragraph applies to—

  1. (a) proceedings on Consideration of Lords Amendments;
  2. (b) proceedings on any further Message from the Lords; and
  3. (c) proceedings of the kind mentioned in paragraph 6.

9. Standing Order No. 15(1) (Exempted business) shall apply to proceedings to which paragraph 8 applies.

10. Proceedings to which paragraph 8 applies shall not be interrupted under any Standing Order relating to the sittings of the House.

11. If proceedings on a Motion for the Adjournment of the House would, by virtue of Standing Order No. 24 (Urgent matters), commence at a time when proceedings to which paragraph 8 applies are in progress, the proceedings on the Motion shall be postponed to the conclusion of the proceedings to which paragraph 8 applies.

12. No Motion shall be made, except by a Minister of the Crown, to alter the order in which any proceedings are taken; and if a Minister makes any such Motion, the Question on the Motion shall be put forthwith.

13. No dilatory Motion with respect to, or in the course of, proceedings to which paragraph 8 applies shall be made, except by a Minister of the Crown; and the Question on any such Motion shall be put forthwith.

14. If a Minister of the Crown makes a Motion for varying or supplementing the provisions of this Order, the Question on the Motion shall be put forthwith and paragraph (1) of Standing Order No. 15 (Exempted business) shall apply to the proceedings on the Motion.

15. If the House is adjourned, or the sitting is suspended, before the conclusion of any proceedings to which paragraph 8 applies, no notice shall be required of a Motion made at the next sitting by a Minister of the Crown for varying or supplementing the provisions of this Order.

The Greater London Authority Bill implements our manifesto and White Paper commitment to create a mayor and Assembly for London. It implements policies endorsed overwhelmingly in last year's referendum. It is not, and should not be, a controversial piece of legislation. Indeed, during the Bill's passage through another place, on only one issue was an Opposition amendment carried in a Division.

Like any long and complex Bill, this Bill has been amended. However, that is not without precedent. As my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House explained last week, the Railways Act 1993, which was a much more contentious measure and a third of the size of the Bill, came back to the House with 470 amendments. That is proportionately twice the number of amendments that the House is now being asked to consider. Moreover, the vast majority of the amendments made to the Bill in another place were technical, many reflecting helpful points raised by Members during consideration in both Houses. Their number reflects the length and complexity of the Bill rather than any last-minute changes in policy.

Two days have been allocated for this stage of consideration of the Bill. The House will recall that the Bill went through its earlier Commons stage on an agreed programme motion. Agreement on timetabling was offered, formally and informally, on this occasion, but the Opposition rejected it. Given the generally non-contentious nature of the amendments before us, it should have been perfectly possible to complete the discussion amicably in two days. It is unfortunate, therefore, that Conservative Members sought to curtail proper debate on Thursday by indulging in time wasting of the crudest kind, thereby making the motion necessary.

Photo of Keith Hill Keith Hill Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions

No, the right hon. Gentleman will have plenty of opportunity to contribute to the debate.

The Bill is an important part of the Government's programme. We are committed to ensuring that its passage is secured. I commend the revised motion to the House.

Photo of John Redwood John Redwood Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Transport and the Regions 3:37 pm, 8th November 1999

What a pathetic performance from the Minister. He does not even know, Madam Speaker, that you are Madam Speaker, although I am pleased to say that you have been in that post for a long time. He does not know whether he is the Minister for London, or whether the Minister for Housing and Planning still has that job. We know that there is a back-seat driver, and there may even be a front-seat driver sitting next to this junior Minister.

The Government need more guillotines than the French revolution, and for rather less consequence, but this Bill should not be guillotined tonight, because the Government are rewriting it as they go along. I have never seen such a mighty list of amendments tabled so late to a Bill. More than 800 Government amendments have been tabled, reflecting the acceptance by the Minister in the other place that the Bill is a mess and a farce, and the acceptance by the draftsmen that the job that these Ministers have done is so bad that great chunks of the Bill had to be rewritten after it had been through its Committee stages in both Houses of Parliament. Any decent, self-respecting Government would start again. They would come here to apologise and say that they have made a mighty mess. They would start again with a new Committee stage and a new Bill that had been properly amended and properly thought through, so that we could scrutinise it and do our job.

The Minister may say that we do not need to debate this motion, but he does not like democracy. I have got news for him: people outside the House value their democracy and they think that such major constitutional measures should be properly drafted and properly discussed. They will share my sense of outrage and insult that the Bill is being treated in this way and that the House of Commons has been sidelined and scoffed at by the Minister, who should know much better.

Photo of Mr Nigel Beard Mr Nigel Beard Labour, Bexleyheath and Crayford

Was it a symptom of the right hon. Gentleman's attachment to democracy that he supported the abolition of the Greater London council, which left London with no democratic authority whatever?

Photo of John Redwood John Redwood Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Transport and the Regions

My credentials in favour of democracy are extremely strong. I am a great believer in elected boroughs throughout London that can carry the voice of the people into the council chamber and make the right decisions. What I dislike about this Government is their attitude towards this great Parliament and their refusal to let us have proper debate. They stifle debate and then return with an apology of a Bill which has so many amendments that the House does not have a chance to consider them.

Do not just take my word for how unsatisfactory the legislation is. We have on the record from another place the view of the Minister, Lord Whitty, who has been handling it there. Stating how bad the Bill was, he said: I am not going to put my hand on my heart and say that everything is absolutely right with this Bill and that we shall not have to legislate within the foreseeable future."—[Official Report, House of Lords, 1 November 1999; Vol. 606, c. 673.] Even after 800-odd Government amendments, the Minister accepts that the Bill is still a mess, that the Government may have to come back to the House in the future, and that there may well need to be amendments to the amendments, some of which are no doubt already amendments to amendments, so many stages has this miserable legislation undergone.

There are many things wrong with the Bill that require time for proper debate on the Floor of the House, in the light of the Government's revised views. It is time to bring the public up to date with the shenanigans over transport in London. We know that the Government are about to sign up to a public-private partnership, or at least, we think they are, because we have read it in the press. Some of what the Government tell the press is accurate. In this case, I believe what the Government are telling the press. They probably are close to signing up to a public-private partnership.

What is the point of electing a mayor to high office in London to sort out London's transport system, if the main decisions have already been taken by the Secretary of State behind closed doors, without proper scrutiny, without a proper statement to the House of Commons and without even a proper debate on the issues tonight if time is used up on other momentous points before we reach those crucial clauses?

We are worried about the Government's attitude to parking and congestion. We know that their policy in general is tax and tax again—if it moves, tax it; if does not move, tax it; if it both moves and stays still, tax it on both occasions. We know that that is their policy, and deep in the clauses and amendments there are powers and statements relevant to it. That surely is worthy of a major debate in the Chamber this afternoon and this evening, but we will not have enough time for it because of the Government's mean-minded guillotine motion.

Photo of Phil Hope Phil Hope Labour/Co-operative, Corby

The right hon. Gentleman is taking up time.

Photo of John Redwood John Redwood Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Transport and the Regions

I am told that I have no right to complain about the allocation of time. I intend to keep my remarks short. The Government cannot be bothered to give us a decent amount of time for the Bill, but I have every right in this place to tell the public of London and the nation how we are being treated, how they are being treated, how measures on big issues such as parking, congestion, traffic and transport are being rushed through, with huge powers in the Bill and huge changes in the amendments, and no opportunity to discuss them properly.

We heard on Thursday, in a debate that was full of substance and was not part of any filibuster—there was no filibuster—that there is no serious power in the Bill to allow the Assembly to control or discipline the mayor. What is the point of the Assembly unless it can engage with what the mayor is doing and, in extreme circumstances, remove the mayor from office? We had no satisfactory answers from Ministers.

We are now told that our wish to discuss that fundamental constitutional principle, with many good contributions from both sides of the Chamber, was part of a filibuster and justifies the Government's action in imposing the guillotine today. They should look at the facts of that debate. If they saw what took place on Thursday, they would know that in a debate of five and three quarter hours, Ministers and Labour Back-Benchers took up two hours, and half an hour was spent in Divisions.

I have seen hon. Members trying to filibuster in the House, particularly when Labour was in opposition. I remember Ministers speaking for three or four minutes, and Opposition Back Benchers speaking for three or four hours. That is the sort of balance that occurs when there is an attempt to talk a Bill out. The debate on Thursday was serious. It was constrained because we were all conscious of the lack of time, and the fact that the time was so evenly balanced across the Chamber shows that Labour Back Benchers and Ministers also recognised that there were serious points at issue, which needed proper discussion.

Photo of Nick Raynsford Nick Raynsford Minister of State (Department for Environment, Transport and the Regions) (The Regions)

I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for giving way. Can he identify a single issue raised in that debate that had not previously been debated in Committee and in the other place?

Photo of John Redwood John Redwood Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Transport and the Regions

All the issues were new, because they concerned new wording for the Bill proposed by the Government. The Minister cannot say that we were not entitled to scrutinise the detailed recommendations or lack of them because some of the general points had been discussed previously. We had before us a most important amendment that needed to be discussed on the Floor of the House, and I am surprised that the hon. Gentleman dares to suggest that the House should not have been able to discuss a matter of such fundamental importance. I stress that we were not trying to talk the Bill out; we were trying to talk some sense into it.

Photo of John Bercow John Bercow Shadow Minister (Education)

I am grateful to my right hon. Friend for giving way because, as is usual these days, he has singularly understated his case in dissecting that of the Government. Does he not agree that it is highly significant that, there are only five Labour Back Benchers present to witness this denial of democracy that the Government intend to perpetrate today? Will it not be interesting to observe whether they are members of the pre-programmed robotic tendency or whether they feel able to deliver themselves of a word of criticism of the Government's outrageous conduct?

Photo of John Redwood John Redwood Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Transport and the Regions

I agree with my hon. Friend's thrust. I hope that some Labour Back Benchers will realise that the Bill's drafting contains serious defects and bring that to the attention of the House.

Photo of Mr Peter Brooke Mr Peter Brooke Chair, Northern Ireland Affairs Committee, Chair, Northern Ireland Affairs Committee

Has it occurred to my right hon. Friend that we did not range even wider last Thursday because a number of us sat on our hands and kept our mouths shut in order to make progress?

Photo of John Redwood John Redwood Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Transport and the Regions

That is quite right. I had to sit on my hands and keep quiet when I felt like intervening because I knew that time was so limited.

Photo of Edward Leigh Edward Leigh Conservative, Gainsborough

Further to the point made by my right hon. Friend the Member for Cities of London and Westminster (Mr. Brooke), I spoke for only six minutes during that debate, but the Whip sat on me because even that was judged too long. Was my speech a filibuster? Is not there something wrong with our procedures when we spent the whole of last Monday discussing whether we should print Acts of Parliament on vellum, and finished early, but are spending just two days discussing 800 amendments?

Photo of John Redwood John Redwood Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Transport and the Regions

My hon. Friend is right. We finished early last Monday and the House has had the longest holidays in living memory, but the Government dare to introduce such momentous legislation on a rushed timetable.

The Labour mayoral candidates are so embarrassed by the Bill that they have not attended this crucial debate. On Thursday, only one candidate was present for part of the time—the right hon. Member for Holborn and St. Pancras (Mr. Dobson) turned up—but we wonder why the others do not attend, do not vote and do not take an interest. We also wonder why the Minister for Housing and Planning does all the talking, and his right hon. Friend does none, when he is only the campaign manager—an odd role to combine with that of the Minister making such important decisions. [Interruption.]

Photo of Shaun Woodward Shaun Woodward Conservative, Witney

The Minister says that this is boring.

Photo of John Redwood John Redwood Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Transport and the Regions

Now the Minister dares to tell us that this is all boring when we are dealing with the substance of the argument about democracy in London—his Bill, who should be mayor and under what conditions the mayor should be appointed. One can only conclude that Greenwich fiddles while Holborn and St. Pancras burns. We see him looking all too shaken, because we know that he is guilty: as a Minister making decisions on matters so close to his political interests, he ought properly to resign from his role in respect of the Bill and disappear. The right hon. Member for Holborn and St. Pancras should appear, declare his legitimate interest and make a contribution to the proceedings.

I am conscious that there is not sufficient time to discuss the motion and that we want to debate many weighty issues properly this evening. Many of my right hon. and hon. Friends want to contribute, and I suspect that some Labour and Liberal Members want to do so as well, so I urge the House to reject the guillotine motion. As I fear that it will not, I shall conclude my remarks.

Photo of Andrew Stunell Andrew Stunell Shadow Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) 3:49 pm, 8th November 1999

I reiterate the point made by the right hon. Member for Wokingham (Mr. Redwood) about the complexity of the Bill. We have received 820 amendments from the other place and although a large number of them are technical, they have important consequences for how the Bill will be implemented. I should point out that the other place took one decision by amending the Bill—the Minister was good enough to refer to it—that relates to the capacity of the Assembly to recall the mayor. I take exception to the suggestion that Thursday's debate in the House on the one change imposed by the other place was a filibuster. We had to give that matter serious consideration. The debate was not a mistake; it was our constitutional duty to have it. Serious issues are at stake and it is entirely proper for the House to give time and thought to them.

When I asked the Leader of the House about the guillotine at business questions last week, part of the excuse given for it was that others had tabled guillotine motions in the past and that previous Bills had been subject to large numbers of amendments. Again today, the Minister has said that we should reconsider the Railways Act 1993, to which 470 amendments were tabled—four times as many pro rata as to this Bill. Those observations are a criticism of the size and complexity of the Bill in its original form; it does not excuse the fact that we have more than 800 amendments to consider in two days, which is simply unachievable.

May I draw your attention, Madam Speaker, to the table in the motion, where reference is made to clauses that will be considered at 10 pm? The motion refers to amendments Nos. 426 to 498 and then to Nos. 500 to 450. We shall no doubt—

Madam Speaker:

Order. May I interrupt the hon. Gentleman? It is a misprint. The motion should refer to amendments Nos. 500 to 540. It was wise of the hon. Gentleman to bring the mistake to my attention and that of the House.

Photo of Andrew Stunell Andrew Stunell Shadow Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

That, Madam Speaker, proves that the Bill is so complicated and complex that, even when the Government list the clauses to be timetabled, it is difficult to get the information correct. That mistake encapsulates the difficulties that the motion poses for the House, and reveals the Government's arrogance in pushing it forward.

Some key issues in the Bill will now probably not be considered properly. Those include the public-private partnership arrangements, which amount to the privatisation of a major nationalised industry—the London tube. The Bill proposes a major change in the financing of one of the capital's most important institutions, and the relevant amendment appears on the Order Paper for decision this evening. However, the relevant debates will almost certainly be too truncated to allow serious discussion of the proposals' merits. That service has a tremendous impact on the capital and it is a vital issue in the forthcoming mayoral campaign. It will, however, be completely side-stepped as a result of the motion.

Other issues are also at stake. Road user charging, a new principle for the country, is to be piloted under this legislation, but it will not be subject to proper scrutiny in the House. Consultation with disabled groups will also be skated around.

The only decision with which the House of Lords disagreed, mayoral recall—and it did so by a majority of two to one, which was not a marginal disagreement or even one to which those who have subsequently lost their places there contributed—is now being held up as the reason why we have to have a guillotine motion preventing us from discussing such vital matters.

The Liberal Democrats oppose the timetable motion. We believe that it is a recipe for making complex legislation worse and that it undermines attempts made in this House and elsewhere to improve the legislative process so that, in future, we can produce legislation of which we are proud, rather than that which we have to excuse. We also believe that the motion makes the prospect of a Greater London Authority that is able to exercise its powers in a straightforward way more difficult to achieve.

Photo of Mr John Wilkinson Mr John Wilkinson Conservative, Ruislip - Northwood 3:54 pm, 8th November 1999

Normally, we would have welcomed the speech of the Under-Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport arid the Regions, the hon. Member for Streatham (Mr. Hill). He is new to the job, and we would have thought that he would be keen to impress, and to make a bit of a name for himself in London. His performance was perfunctory in the extreme, however. Long may he remain in his present role: on the basis of today's performance, he will lose a lot of votes for Labour.

The Labour party's action in guillotining the debate demonstrates a supreme contempt for democracy which would have done justice to the Socialist Unity party in the German Democratic Republic that came to an end 10 years ago. Londoners and others will not ignore the fact—we certainly have not ignored it—that Thursday's debate was rightly taken up mostly by what people regard as the very essence of democracy, namely accountability: the ability to bring to account those who exercise executive responsibility by virtue of their democratic election to the mayoralty. None of us, I am sure, felt that we had spoken for too long in any sense, although we may have felt that the Minister for Housing and Planning—who was being his usual charming, affable self—did speak for a little too long. In fact, we thought that he spoke for much too long.

The truth is that the Minister should not have spoken at all. He continues to take the Queen's shilling, but spends most of his time as campaign manager for the right hon. Member for Holborn and St. Pancras (Mr. Dobson). Most people in London would not regard that as an appropriate use of taxpayers' money; they believe that Ministers of the Crown are paid to do their job full time. We have learned that the Minister's job, from September, is not to be Minister for London, and we therefore wonder why he is here—except, of course, to help out the Under-Secretary, who is so new to these matters that he cannot advance an argument in favour of the guillotine for more than two minutes.

Photo of John Bercow John Bercow Shadow Minister (Education)

Does my hon. Friend agree that, quite apart from the interests of value for money for the taxpayer and the propriety of the Minister fulfilling the responsibilities for which he is paid rather than those for which he is not, it would be very much in the interests of the right hon. Member for Holborn and St. Pancras (Mr. Dobson) if the Minister spent less time on his campaign and more time in the House?

Photo of Mr John Wilkinson Mr John Wilkinson Conservative, Ruislip - Northwood

I leave that to the judgment of the right hon. Member for Holborn and St. Pancras, who before too long will himself be judged by that egregious college which is the Labour party's selectorate. If he pleases that egregious college, he will go on to be judged by the much more discriminating electoral college composed of the people of London. It will be a matter for those twin judgments.

The Government had plenty of time. We could have continued much later than 7 pm on Thursday. The Government like a cosy life: they do not wish the myriad amendments that they have incorporated in the Bill to be properly discussed. Discussing and considering amendments, however, is an important function. We cannot simply incorporate provisions in legislation. One point was agreed by Members on both sides of the House at the outset: the devil is in the detail. We have had no time to discuss that devilish detail, and much do we bewail the fact. Similarly, we could have continued until much later than 10 o'clock tonight if the business managers had organised the debate properly.

As was made clear by the hon. Member for Hazel Grove (Mr. Stunell), exceedingly important issues are involved. Let me refer to another aspect of the public-private partnership. The electors of London, and the people of this country, will wonder why so little time has been allotted for us to discuss provisions relating to the PPP for the tube, when more than half a billion pounds of taxpayers' money must be spent on remedying the deficiencies of this policy which is still not in place.

Then there is the question of amendment No. 555, and the power to appoint staff. The Government love appointing people. Labour is, par excellence, the patronage party. In the intermediate period between the election and the mayor's assumption of responsibilities in July next year, the Secretary of State will be able to pack the Greater London Authority with his cronies. That is not democratic and it deserves considerable discussion tonight.

Last but not least, there is the issue of road user charges. I gather that they are to be based on distance travelled as well as the use of a vehicle to get to work. My constituents, who have to travel long distances to get to work because the public transport system is still inadequate, will not be delighted by that. Nor will they be enthused by Labour's attempts to diminish the reasonable opportunities afforded to Back Benchers and others to debate the issue.

All in all, the Government's performance is shameful, disreputable and shoddy. No wonder the Under-Secretary spoke for such a short time. Had he spoken any longer he would have brought the measure into even more disrepute.

Photo of Mr Peter Brooke Mr Peter Brooke Chair, Northern Ireland Affairs Committee, Chair, Northern Ireland Affairs Committee 4:01 pm, 8th November 1999

Proceedings on the Bill before it went to the Lords were a model for the lack of rancour with which they were conducted. There were occasional moments, but there are in any Committee. The Minister for Housing and Planning earned the praise of the Committee at the end of the proceedings for the manner in which he had conducted them. I am very sorry that the Government have tabled a guillotine motion, because it has introduced some rancour to the House's deliberations on a Bill which everyone agrees is important.

I admire the Leader of the House. I am glad that she survived the July and October reshuffles, because she is a good Leader of the House. I am not criticising her, but there was a time when the holder of her post attended and moved the motion in debates on guillotines. The right hon. Lady's one failing is that she has some of the characteristics of the speaking clock when she reads out that there is going to be a guillotine motion. I am not sure whether my right hon. Friend the Member for Wokingham (Mr. Redwood) drew attention to the fact that her two references to the first debate taking four hours were inaccurate by 53 minutes, because it took three hours and seven minutes, although I acknowledge that it was followed by a Division. Not having Divisions is very new Labour. It may be a reflection of the evils of Conservatism that we retain an old-fashioned democratic affection for an occasional vote, so I do not feel bad about the fact that we divided at the end of the first debate. Even so, the right hon. Lady greatly exaggerated the length of time that it took.

When the Bill came to us in Committee it had 270 clauses and 30 schedules. We added a further 30 clauses in Committee. It then went off to the House of Lords. My understanding is that after the to-ing and fro-ing with the House of Lords is concluded, the Bill will have 413 clauses. That means that the Bill will have more than a third as many clauses as it had when it left this House and will have increased in size by more than 50 per cent. since it first went to the Standing Committee all those days ago in January. That is a massive increase, reinforcing what my right hon. Friend the Member for Wokingham said.

I shall not follow others—started by the Minister for Housing and Planning—in referring to candidates. Several Labour Members are, in one of Mr. Neil Kinnock's famous phrases, fighting like ferrets in a sack. In these days of political correctness, I should not want to say anything that was in any way disobliging to ferrets.

The Bill is too important to be hurried. I started by paying my respects to the Minister for Housing and Planning for the manner in which he initially conducted proceedings on the Bill. I can only express my regret that his thumbprint is on the guillotine that we are debating now.

Photo of Richard Shepherd Richard Shepherd Conservative, Aldridge-Brownhills 4:05 pm, 8th November 1999

I wish to join my right hon. Friend the Member for Cities of London and Westminster (Mr. Brooke) in what he said, which bears upon the way in which we conduct debates.

My right hon. and hon. Friends have made cogent and powerful points, as did the hon. Member for Hazel Grove (Mr. Stunell)—not the least of which is that there is a misprint in the motion. I do not know whether the Government will address that before we commence. If not, the misprint will stand as the order of this House if we go to a vote and the motion is approved. Will the Government move an amendment in advance of the decision on the motion? As it stands, the motion refers to amendments Nos. "500 to 450", which could cause confusion in terms of the intervening amendments.

I have had a long struggle against the use of guillotines, which have become routine for Governments. The present Government in particular are not weighing sufficiently carefully what they are doing. For many years—back to the 1930s—the House has been concerned about Henry VIII clauses in Bills. Now we have a Government who, like Henry VIII, believe that any proclamation of the King should be law.

Effectively, this motion is a proclamation. Within the first set of amendments to be considered, Nos. 213 to 422 deal with measures relating to London Transport. Effectively, these make up an additional Bill. Under any other Government, these measures would have made a separate, free-standing Bill. We know that that is the Government's own view; they would not have constructed a Bill which omitted such a fundamental principle if they held that the measures should be part of the original Bill.

Photo of Eric Forth Eric Forth Conservative, Bromley and Chislehurst

Does my hon. Friend agree that, taking what he has just said together with the remarks of my right hon. Friend the Member for Cities of London and Westminster (Mr. Brooke) about the proportion of the Bill considered in relative detail in Committee and the enormous number of amendments to be added with no consideration at all, this could set a dangerous precedent that could be used by a Government who might be tempted to put an entirely new Bill into one that had received detailed consideration and to push it through under a guillotine with no consideration at all? [Interruption.] Does that worry my hon. Friend?

Photo of Richard Shepherd Richard Shepherd Conservative, Aldridge-Brownhills

And how! Clearly, this matter concerned the hon. Member for Hazel Grove (Mr. Stunell), who said that it was the constitutional duty of this House to debate. I do not demur from that. Any understanding of the role of Executive Government and the function of the House of Commons comes down to the fundamental basic job of the House of Commons, which is to debate the public measures and policies put forward by the Executive. In this case, the Executive have decided to create what could be a free-standing Bill in its own right, insert it into the original Bill in the House of Lords and present it to this Chamber. [Interruption.] The Under-Secretary may or may not agree, and I am happy that he is participating—like Back-Bench Members—in this debate. Could he give us a greater insight into the use of the guillotine?

I am becoming alarmed by the way in which the Government believe that their proclamations are law, and by their disregard for the purposes and processes of this House. I have seen Governments of a different colour nodding their head at that idea. The guillotine is constructed so closely—apart from the misprint, which I accept—that the motion states that the House doth agree with the Lords in all the remaining Lords Amendments. We know full well that we shall not be able to debate all the amendments, simply because of the scarcity of time allocated to do so by a majority of Labour Members. However, the guillotine is being used as a device to prevent us even from voting against provisions that we may judge to be inappropriate or wrong or as giving a wrong balance to the legislation. Is that a development in the employment of guillotine motions?

The Government will eventually stand in front of the public at a general election, but it takes a long time for it to become widely known that important issues of substance are no longer at the core of Members' role in addressing—as my right hon. Friend the Member for Cities of London and Westminster does—vital London constituency issues. Because of the nature of some of the amendments, I, too, now have vital constituency issues to address in the Bill. The issue of road user charges is an important one in principle for people living in Aldridge—Brownhills or anywhere else in the west midlands. Nevertheless, the provision has simply been driven into the Bill, with no opportunity properly to discuss it.

Photo of John Bercow John Bercow Shadow Minister (Education)

I do not know whether my hon. Friend heard the Minister for Housing and Planning sedentarily comment that my right hon. Friend the Member for Bromley and Chislehurst (Mr. Forth) was paranoid. In the light of that sedentary interjection, does my hon. Friend agree that the Minister now has a duty to tell us whether hon. Members' treatment today is intended to be an isolated case and will not be repeated, or whether it is now to become common practice, and, if so, whether he has the audacity to think that none of us should be remotely concerned about it?

Photo of Richard Shepherd Richard Shepherd Conservative, Aldridge-Brownhills

My hon. Friend is, of course, right. He used the word paranoid. We often in our debates make allegations, become excited and make claims about other hon. Members that do not always bear scrutiny—and without scrutiny, we shall not able to appreciate the folly of expressions that we sometimes use.

Much more important than characterising each of us as trying to represent our narrow constituency interests, however, is whether we are truly able to discuss the substance of matters that will have a bearing on our constituents.

I know—because of the good grace of my colleagues, the "Today" programme and other sources—that the Minister for Housing and Planning is running the campaign of a candidate in the London mayoral election. We know that the hon. Gentleman's sympathies are not so disdainful of the House—surely he must know that, in normal times, the Government's proposed use of this guillotine, and the huge transformations effected in the Bill, would be thought most inappropriate.

Photo of Simon Hughes Simon Hughes Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs)

I wonder whether the hon. Gentleman—who is always assiduous in dealing with respect for the rights of the House—has considered one supplementary point. The right hon. Member for Cities of London and Westminster (Mr. Brooke) commented that the House is expected to consider, in two days, about 90 new clauses and about 10 schedules—some of which are pages long, and some of which, in both their general and detailed provision, have huge financial implications. I have never known the House to be expected to consider 90 new clauses and 10 schedules at this stage in a Bill's passage, and I doubt whether the hon. Gentleman has, either.

Photo of Richard Shepherd Richard Shepherd Conservative, Aldridge-Brownhills

The hon. Gentleman makes his point well. The issue is also profoundly important to him and his constituents. We know how assiduously he—like many hon. Members—works on behalf of his constituents, and that every hon. Member who has spoken in this debate has a regard for that duty. That was why I started my remarks by mentioning—I know that Ministers will think it was intemperate—Henry VIII provisions and the concept of governing the United Kingdom by statutory instruments which generally are not seriously scrutinised by the House, as there is no opportunity to debate them. Long years ago, the practice was said to be inappropriate, and it was said that it would be excluded from the practices of the House.

In truth, we understand that, in great Bills and in great Departments of State, there is a need to tailor measures to the needs of the day. However, in the current case, we are creating entirely new legislation without allowing the House even to consider it.

Photo of John Redwood John Redwood Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Transport and the Regions

I wonder whether my hon. Friend agrees with other Opposition Members that it is particularly worrying that the Bill should be guillotined and the debate curtailed when the Government are so unable to get things right—when there are so many changes; when the Order Paper is incorrect; when Ministers gave the wrong figure for the length of previous debate; and when their only argument against me is that I voted to abolish the Greater London council—although I never voted to do so, if for no other reason than I was not even an hon. Member at the time?

Photo of Richard Shepherd Richard Shepherd Conservative, Aldridge-Brownhills

My right hon. Friend well justifies the Front-Bench position that he holds.

In summary, there is no point. We know that in truth, this is part of a bigger play. The Government are coming to the end of a parliamentary Session—but that is not the Opposition's fault; that aspect of the timetable was not unknown. The Government have been aware for most of the year that at some time in November the Queen will open a new Session of Parliament. The rejigging of business, with the leitmotif that a Weatherill amendment may or may not be included in another piece of legislation, condenses an enormously important Bill.

As it happens, I never believed in the Greater London Authority Bill. The referendum demonstrated that there was not what one could call consent or agreement to it. For the Government to present us with such a guillotine, and with the extraordinary contention that we may not even vote, other than once, on the whole of what comes under the proposition That this House doth agree with the Lords in all the remaining Lords Amendments is truly an execution.

Photo of Eric Forth Eric Forth Conservative, Bromley and Chislehurst

My I bring some solace to my hon. Friend? My understanding is that we have the possibility of a reassuringly large number of Divisions, of which my hon. Friend and others may wish to avail themselves, within the first grouping of amendments, which we must finish by 8 o'clock. Notwithstanding the fact that the time for debate is inadequate, my hon. Friend can be reassured that he may be able to express his view in the Division Lobby on a surprisingly large number of occasions.

Photo of Richard Shepherd Richard Shepherd Conservative, Aldridge-Brownhills

But those may not be the occasions of my choice.

I will scrutinise what my right hon. Friend says and support him in his endeavour, but if he is correct, that means that we may be unable to discuss any of the amendments scheduled for debate after 8 o'clock, if we are voting on the other amendments—[Interruption.] The Minister for Housing and Planning pointing in the general direction of another part of the House does not constitute an argument. That is not what debate in the Chamber is about.

I am outraged, as many other people will be if they understand what is happening. Amendments Nos. 426 to 498, 500 to—as is still written on the Order Paper—450, 542 to 702, 704 to 792, and 794 to 820, may be excluded from debate because hon. Members are doing the appropriate business of the House, which is voting on matters that the Government suggest should be public policy, in some instances with the force of law.

That is wrong, and the Government should know it. They should know that, slowly, their intolerance concerning parliamentary procedures and processes—that means debate by elected representatives—will bring them into disrepute.

Photo of Edward Leigh Edward Leigh Conservative, Gainsborough 4:18 pm, 8th November 1999

There is something rather predictable about such debates, and I suppose that that explains the smile on the Minister's face. Governments govern and Oppositions talk, and if Oppositions were allowed to go on talking they would talk for ever. That is why, for the past 100 years, Governments have always preserved the right to guillotine in the end.

However, we are deluding ourselves if we believe that we are living in the same sort of Parliament as existed in earlier times. The political set-up then was largely amateur, there was little legislation, and most Members of Parliament were experts in their field. When it was necessary to guillotine legislation, it was usually on matters that—

It being forty-five minutes after the commencement of proceedings on the supplemental allocation of time motion, MADAM SPEAKER put the Question, pursuant to Order [13 January.]

The House divided: Ayes 304, Noes 150.

Division No. 295][4.19 pm
AYES
Ainger, NickCohen, Harry
Ainsworth, Robert (Cov'try NE)Coleman, Iain
Alexander, DouglasConnarty, Michael
Allen, GrahamCook, Frank (Stockton N)
Anderson, Donald (Swansea E)Cooper, Yvette
Armstrong, Rt Hon Ms HilaryCorbett, Robin
Ashton, JoeCorbyn, Jeremy
Atherton, Ms CandyCorston, Jean
Atkins, CharlotteCousins, Jim
Austin, JohnCox, Tom
Barnes, HarryCranston, Ross
Barron, KevinCryer, Mrs Ann (Keighley)
Bayley, HughCryer, John (Hornchurch)
Beard, NigelCummings, John
Beckett, Rt Hon Mrs MargaretCunliffe, Lawrence
Bell, Martin (Tatton)Cunningham, Jim (Cov'try S)
Bell, Stuart (Middlesbrough)Curtis-Thomas, Mrs Claire
Benn, Hilary (Leeds C)Dalyell, Tam
Benn, Rt Hon Tony (Chesterfield)Darling, Rt Hon Alistair
Bennett, Andrew FDarvill, Keith
Berry, RogerDavey, Valerie (Bristol W)
Betts, CliveDavies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli)
Blears, Ms HazelDavies, Geraint (Croydon C)
Blizzard, BobDavis, Terry (B'ham Hodge H)
Boateng, Rt Hon PaulDean, Mrs Janet
Borrow, DavidDenham, John
Bradley, Keith (Withington)Dobbin, Jim
Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin)Donohoe, Brian H
Brinton, Mrs HelenDoran, Frank
Brown, Rt Hon Nick (Newcastle E)Dowd, Jim
Brown, Russell (Dumfries)Drew, David
Browne, DesmondDunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth
Burden, RichardEagle, Angela (Wallasey)
Burgon, ColinEdwards, Huw
Butler, Mrs ChristineEfford, Clive
Byers, Rt Hon StephenEllman, Mrs Louise
Caborn, Rt Hon RichardEtherington, Bill
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)Field, Rt Hon Frank
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)Fisher, Mark
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)Fitzpatrick, Jim
Campbell-Savours, DaleFitzsimons, Lorna
Caplin, IvorFlint, Caroline
Casale, RogerFlynn, Paul
Caton, MartinFollett, Barbara
Chaytor, DavidFoster, Rt Hon Derek
Clark, Rt Hon Dr David (S Shields)Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings)
Clark, Dr Lynda (Edinburgh Pentlands)Foster, Michael J (Worcester)
Foulkes, George
Clark, Paul (Gillingham)Fyfe, Maria
Clarke, Charles (Norwich S)Gapes, Mike
Clarke, Eric (Midlothian)Gardiner, Barry
Clarke, Rt Hon Tom (Coatbridge)George, Bruce (Walsall S)
Clarke, Tony (Northampton S)Gerrard, Neil
Clelland, DavidGibson, Dr Ian
Clwyd, AnnGilroy, Mrs Linda
Coaker, VernonGodman, Dr Norman A
Coffey, Ms AnnGodsiff, Roger
Goggins, PaulMcIsaac, Shona
Golding, Mrs LlinMcKenna, Mrs Rosemary
Gordon, Mrs EileenMackinlay, Andrew
Griffiths, Jane (Reading E)McNamara, Kevin
Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)McNulty, Tony
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)Mactaggart, Fiona
Grocott, BruceMcWilliam, John
Grogan, JohnMahon, Mrs Alice
Gunnell, JohnMallaber, Judy
Hain, PeterMarsden, Paul (Shrewsbury)
Hall, Patrick (Bedford)Marshall, David (Shettleston)
Hanson, DavidMarshall-Andrews, Robert
Heal, Mrs SylviaMartlew, Eric
Healey, JohnMaxton, John
Henderson, Doug (Newcastle N)Meale, Alan
Hepburn, StephenMerron, Gillian
Heppell, JohnMichie, Bill (Shef'ld Heeley)
Hesford, StephenMiller, Andrew
Hewitt, Ms PatriciaMoffatt, Laura
Hill, KeithMoran, Ms Margaret
Hinchliffe, DavidMorgan, Ms Julie (Cardiff N)
Hood, JimmyMountford, Kali
Hoon, Rt Hon GeoffreyMudie, George
Hope, PhilMullin, Chris
Hopkins, KelvinMurphy, Denis (Wansbeck)
Howarth, Alan (Newport E)Murphy, Rt Hon Paul (Torfaen)
Hoyle, LindsayO'Brien, Bill (Normanton)
Hughes, Ms Beverley (Stretford)O'Brien, Mike (N Warks)
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)Olner, Bill
Humble, Mrs JoanOrgan, Mrs Diana
Hurst, AlanOsborne, Ms Sandra
Hutton, JohnPalmer, Dr Nick
Iddon, Dr BrianPearson, Ian
Illsley, EricPerham, Ms Linda
Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough)Pickthall, Colin
Jamieson, DavidPike, Peter L
Jenkins, BrianPlaskitt, James
Johnson, Miss Melanie (Welwyn Hatfield)Pond, Chris
Pound, Stephen
Jones, Rt Hon Barry (Alyn)Powell, Sir Raymond
Jones, Mrs Fiona (Newark)Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Jones, Helen (Warrington N)Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Jones, Ms Jenny (Wolverh'ton SW)Prosser, Gwyn
Purchase, Ken
Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)Quin, Rt Hon Ms Joyce
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)Quinn, Lawrie
Jowell, Rt Hon Ms TessaRadice, Rt Hon Giles
Kaufman, Rt Hon GeraldRammell, Bill
Keeble, Ms SallyRapson, Syd
Keen, Alan (Feltham & Heston)Raynsford, Nick
Kelly, Ms RuthReed, Andrew (Loughborough)
Kemp, FraserReid, Rt Hon Dr John (Hamilton N)
Kennedy, Jane (Wavertree)Roche, Mrs Barbara
Khabra, Piara SRogers, Allan
Kidney, DavidRoss, Ernie (Dundee W)
Kilfoyle, PeterRowlands, Ted
King, Andy (Rugby & Kenilworth)Roy, Frank
King, Ms Oona (Bethnal Green)Ruane, Chris
Kingham, Ms TessRuddock, Joan
Kumar, Dr AshokRussell, Ms Christine (Chester)
Ladyman, Dr StephenRyan, Ms Joan
Lawrence, Ms JackieSalter, Martin
Laxton, BobSarwar, Mohammad
Leslie, ChristopherSawford, Phil
Levitt, TomSedgemore, Brian
Lewis, Ivan (Bury S)Shaw, Jonathan
Linton, MartinSheerman, Barry
Livingstone, KenSheldon, Rt Hon Robert
Lloyd, Tony (Manchester C)Short, Rt Hon Clare
Love, AndrewSingh, Marsha
McAvoy, ThomasSmith, Rt Hon Andrew (Oxford E)
McCabe, SteveSmith, Angela (Basilclon)
McCartney, Rt Hon Ian (Makerfield)Smith, John (Glamorgan)
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
McDonnell, JohnSouthworth, Ms Helen
McGuire, Mrs AnneSpellar, John
Squire, Ms RachelTwigg, Derek (Halton)
Starkey, Dr PhyllisTwigg, Stephen (Enfield)
Steinberg, GerryTynan, Bill
Stewart, David (Inverness E)Ward, Ms Claire
Stewart, Ian (Eccles)Wareing, Robert N
Stinchcombe, PaulWatts, David
Strang, Rt Hon Dr GavinWhite, Brian
Straw, Rt Hon JackWhitehead, Dr Alan
Stringer, GrahamWicks, Malcolm
Stuart, Ms GiselaWilliams, Rt Hon Alan (Swansea W)
Sutcliffe, Gerry
Taylor, Rt Hon Mrs Ann (Dewsbury)Williams, Alan W (E Carmarthen)
Williams, Mrs Betty (Conwy)
Taylor, Ms Dari (Stockton S)Winnick, David
Temple-Morris, PeterWinterton, Ms Rosie (Doncaster C)
Thomas, Gareth (Clwyd W)Wise, Audrey
Timms, StephenWood, Mike
Todd, MarkWorthington, Tony
Touhig, DonWright, Dr Tony (Cannock)
Truswell, PaulWyatt, Derek
Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)
Turner, Dr Desmond (Kemptown)Tellers for the Ayes:
Turner, Dr George (NW Norfolk)Mr. Mike Hall and
Turner, Neil (Wigan)Mr. Greg Pope.
NOES
Ainsworth, Peter (E Surrey)Gale, Roger
Allan, RichardGarnier, Edward
Amess, DavidGibb, Nick
Ancram, Rt Hon MichaelGill, Christopher
Arbuthnot, Rt Hon JamesGray, James
Ashdown, Rt Hon PaddyGreen, Damian
Atkinson, David (Bour'mth E)Greenway, John
Baldry, TonyGrieve, Dominic
Ballard, JackieHamilton, Rt Hon Sir Archie
Bercow, JohnHammond, Philip
Beresford, Sir PaulHancock, Mike
Blunt, CrispinHawkins, Nick
Boswell, TimHeath, David (Somerton & Frome)
Bottomley, Peter (Worthing W)Heathcoat-Amory, Rt Hon David
Bottomley, Rt Hon Mrs VirginiaHogg, Rt Hon Douglas
Brady, GrahamHoram, John
Brake, TomHoward, Rt Hon Michael
Brazier, JulianHowarth, Gerald (Aldershot)
Breed, ColinHughes, Simon (Southwark N)
Brooke, Rt Hon PeterJack, Rt Hon Michael
Browning, Mrs AngelaJackson, Robert (Wantage)
Bruce, Ian (S Dorset)Jenkin, Bernard
Burns, SimonJones, Nigel (Cheltenham)
Butterfill, JohnKeetch, Paul
Campbell, Rt Hon Menzies (NE Fife)Kennedy, Rt Hon Charles (Ross Skye & Inverness W)
Chapman, Sir Sydney (Chipping Barnet)Key, Robert
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Chope, ChristopherKirkwood, Archy
Clappison, JamesLaing, Mrs Eleanor
Clark, Dr Michael (Rayleigh)Lansley, Andrew
Clifton-Brown, GeoffreyLeigh, Edward
Collins, TimLetwin, Oliver
Cormack, Sir PatrickLewis, Dr Julian (New Forest E)
Cotter, BrianLidington, David
Curry, Rt Hon DavidLilley, Rt Hon Peter
Davey, Edward (Kingston)Lloyd, Rt Hon Sir Peter (Fareham)
Davies, Quentin (Grantham)Llwyd, Elfyn
Davis, Rt Hon David (Haltemprice & Howden)Loughton, Tim
Luff, Peter
Duncan, AlanLyell, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas
Duncan Smith, IainMacGregor, Rt Hon John
Evans, NigelMcIntosh, Miss Anne
Fabricant, MichaelMacKay, Rt Hon Andrew
Fallon, MichaelMaclean, Rt Hon David
Flight HowardMcLoughlin, Patrick
Forth, Rt Hon EricMadel, Sir David
Foster, Don (Bath)Malins, Humfrey
Fox, Dr LiamMaples, John
Fraser, ChristopherMates, Michael
Maude, Rt Hon FrancisStanley, Rt Hon Sir John
Mawhinney, Rt Hon Sir BrianStreeter, Gary
May, Mrs TheresaSwayne, Desmond
Morgan, Alasdair (Galloway)Syms, Robert
Moss, MalcolmTapsell, Sir Peter
Nicholls, PatrickTaylor, Ian (Esher & Walton)
O'Brien, Stephen (Eddisbury)Taylor, John M (Solihull)
Ottaway, RichardTaylor, Matthew (Truro)
Page, RichardTrend, Michael
Paterson, OwenTyrie, Andrew
Pickles, EricWaterson, Nigel
Prior, DavidWebb, Steve
Randall, JohnWells, Bowen
Redwood, Rt Hon JohnWhitney, Sir Raymond
Rendel, DavidWhittingdale, John
Robathan, AndrewWiddecombe, Rt Hon Miss Ann
Robertson, LaurenceWigley, Rt Hon Dafydd
Roe, Mrs Marion (Broxbourne)Wilkinson, John
Ruffley, DavidWilletts, David
Russell, Bob (Colchester)Wilshire, David
Sanders, AdrianWinterton, Mrs Ann (Congleton)
Sayeed, JonathanWinterton, Nicholas (Macclesfield)
Shephard, Rt Hon Mrs GillianWoodward, Shaun
Shepherd, RichardYeo.Tim
Simpson, Keith (Mid-Norfolk)Young, Rt Hon Sir George
Soames, Nicholas
Spelman, Mrs CarolineTellers for the Noes:
Spicer, Sir MichaelMrs. Jacqui Lait and
Spring, RichardMr. James Cran.

Question accordingly agreed to.

Resolved,That the Order of the House of 13th January 1999 relating to the Greater London Authority Bill be supplemented as follows:

Lords Amendments

1.—(1) Proceedings on further Consideration of Lords Amendments shall be completed at today's sitting and, if not previously concluded, shall be brought to a conclusion at ten o'clock.

(2) The remaining Lords Amendments shall be considered in the following order, namely:

Nos. 41 to 126, 499, 127 to 212, 703, 213 to 422, 541, 793, 423 to 425, 426 to 498, 500 to 540, 542 to 702, 704 to 792 and 794 to 820.

(3) Each part of the proceedings shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion at the time specified in the second column of the Table.

TABLE
Lords amendmentsTime for conclusion of proceedings
Nos. 41 to 126, 499, 127 to 212, 703, 213 to 422, 541, 793 and 423 to 4258.00 p.m.
Nos. 426 to 498, 500 to 450, 542 to 702, 704 to 792 and 794 to 82010.00 p.m.

2.—(1) This paragraph applies for the purpose of bringing proceedings to a conclusion in accordance with paragraph 1.

(2) The Speaker shall—

  1. (a) put forthwith any Question which has been proposed from the Chair and has not been decided and, if that Question is for the amendment of a Lords Amendment, a single Question on any further Amendments of the Lords Amendment moved by a Minister of the Crown and on any Motion made by a Minister of the Crown, That this House agrees or disagrees with the Lords in the Lords Amendment or, as the case may be, in the Lords Amendment as amended;
  2. (b) put forthwith a single Question on any Amendments moved by a Minister of the Crown to a Lords Amendment followed by the Question on any Motion made by a Minister of the Crown, That this House agrees or disagrees with the Lords in their Amendment, or as the case may be, in their Amendment as amended;
  3. (c) put forthwith the Question on any Motion made by a Minister of the Crown, That this House disagrees with the Lords in a Lords Amendment;
  4. (d) put forthwith the Question, That this House doth agree with the Lords in all the remaining Lords Amendments.

(3) As soon as the House has agreed or disagreed with the Lords in any of their Amendments, the Speaker shall put forthwith a single Question on any Amendments moved by a Minister of the Crown relevant to the Lords Amendment.

Subsequent stages

3. The Speaker shall put forthwith the Question on any Motion made by a Minister of the Crown for the consideration forthwith of any further Message from the Lords on the Bill.

4. The proceedings on any further Message from the Lords shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion one hour after their commencement.

5. For the purpose of bringing these proceedings to a conclusion the Speaker shall—

  1. (a) put forthwith any Question which has been proposed from the Chair and has not been decided, and the Question on any Motion made by a Minister of the Crown which is related to the Question already proposed from the Chair;
  2. (b) put forthwith the Question on any Motion made by a Minister of the Crown on or relevant to any of the remaining items in the Lords Message; and
  3. (c) put forthwith the Question, That this House agrees with the Lords in all the remaining Lords Proposals.

Reasons Committee

6. The Speaker shall put forthwith the Question on any Motion made by a Minister of the Crown for the appointment, nomination and quorum of a Committee to draw up Reasons and the appointment of its Chairman.

7.—(1) A Committee appointed to draw up Reasons shall report before the conclusion of the sitting at which it is appointed.

(2) Proceedings in the Committee shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion 30 minutes after their commencement.

(3) For the purpose of bringing any proceedings to a conclusion in accordance with sub-paragraph (2), the Chairman shall—

  1. (a) first put forthwith any Question which has been proposed from the Chair and has not been decided; and
  2. (b) then put forthwith successively Questions on motions which may be made by a Minister of the Crown for assigning a Reason for disagreeing with the Lords in one of their Amendments.

(4) The proceedings of the Committee shall be reported without any further Question being put.

Miscellaneous

8. This paragraph applies to—

  1. (a) proceedings on Consideration of Lords Amendments;
  2. (b) proceedings on any further Message from the Lords; and
  3. (c) proceedings of the kind mentioned in paragraph 6.

9. Standing Order No. 15(1) (Exempted business) shall apply to proceedings to which paragraph 8 applies.

10. Proceedings to which paragraph 8 applies shall not be interrupted under any Standing Order relating to the sittings of the House.

11. If proceedings on a Motion for the Adjournment of the House would, by virtue of Standing Order No. 24 (Urgent matters), commence at a time when proceedings to which paragraph 8 applies are in progress, the proceedings on the Motion shall be postponed to the conclusion of the proceedings to which paragraph 8 applies.

12. No Motion shall be made, except by a Minister of the Crown, to alter the order in which any proceedings are taken; and if a Minister makes any such Motion, the Question on the Motion shall be put forthwith.

13. No dilatory Motion with respect to, or in the course of, proceedings to which paragraph 8 applies shall be made, except by a Minister of the Crown; and the Question on any such Motion shall be put forthwith.

14. If a Minister of the Crown makes a Motion for varying or supplementing the provisions of this Order, the Question on the Motion shall be put forthwith and paragraph (1) of Standing Order No. 15 (Exempted business) shall apply to the proceedings on the Motion.

15. If the House is adjourned, or the sitting is suspended, before the conclusion of any proceedings to which paragraph 8 applies, no notice shall be required of a Motion made at the next sitting by a Minister of the Crown for varying or supplementing the provisions of this Order.