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Clause 1 — Registration: provision of signature and date of birth

Part of Orders of the Day — Election Fraud (Northern Ireland) Bill – in the House of Commons at 8:30 pm on 31st October 2001.

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Photo of Crispin Blunt Crispin Blunt Shadow Spokesperson (Northern Ireland) 8:30 pm, 31st October 2001

I hope that the hon. Gentleman listened carefully to what I said. I did not say that. My hon. Friend the Member for Romford used those terms, but I have taken some trouble to dissociate those on the Conservative Front Bench from that suggestion, and to make it clear that we take the Minister's intentions at face value. I am not suggesting that he is in league with Sinn Fein in his proposals. I am merely pointing out to the House that it so happens that on this issue he finds himself at one with Sinn Fein, which would no doubt resist the proposal. It is the only other party that would do so. The Minister should consider the position in which he finds himself. I am not saying that there has been some arrangement or that a direct effort has been made to appease Sinn Fein on other issues. I am grateful to Mr. McGrady for giving me the opportunity to make that clear.