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The Speaker's Committee

Part of Orders of the Day — Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Bill – in the House of Commons at 6:45 pm on 14th February 2000.

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Photo of Patrick Cormack Patrick Cormack Conservative, South Staffordshire 6:45 pm, 14th February 2000

The Minister has responded with the impeccable courtesy for which he is renowned in the House. I do not want anything that I say to be interpreted as in any sense questioning his good faith or integrity. I shall certainly not do that.

The fact is that there is unease among Conservative Members about the composition of the Committee. The Minister picked up on that unease and, to some degree, reflected it in his words. He said—he was very honest about this—that he was still inclined to stick with what the Government have in the Bill, but we are very disinclined to stick with that.

We are grateful to the Minister for saying that he will have discussions with Madam Speaker and for saying that he will reflect carefully on the points that have been made, but we would like to reinforce these points in the Division Lobby. I invite my right hon. and hon. Friends to vote for the amendment.