Orders of the Day — Interpretation

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:30 pm on 27th November 2000.

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Photo of Mr Nick St Aubyn Mr Nick St Aubyn Conservative, Guildford 7:30 pm, 27th November 2000

I would no more suggest that than I would describe my right hon. Friend, who said that we were the ants of the parliamentary system, as a drone.

Hon. Members on both sides of the House should revolt against the motion because it goes against the basis on which Parliament is elected. My constituents cannot understand why we do not have the power and the time to examine major pieces of Government legislation and why unelected Members of another place are given that time when it is denied to us.

The truth is that the extended recess also played into the Government's hands by allowing Ministers to do their job without being properly called to account in the Chamber. They get a double gain at our expense: their legislative programme is rammed through because they have run out of time at the end of the parliamentary Session—that is their excuse today—and during the recess they can get on with the job of government without being made accountable for disasters such as the fuel crisis.