Schedule 28 — Consequential amendments: Scotland

Part of Orders of the Day — Civil Partnerships Bill [Lords] – in the House of Commons at 6:21 pm on 9th November 2004.

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Photo of Angela Eagle Angela Eagle Labour, Wallasey 6:21 pm, 9th November 2004

Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. I thought that it was part of the nature of debates on Third Reading that we look back on our proceedings. I am merely pointing out that the four Conservative Members serving on the Bill in Committee all did different things.

Of those four, I move on to the best, the hon. Member for Buckingham. Unlike some of his colleagues, he was steadfast, brave and principled throughout the Committee stage; he argued constantly and passionately in favour of the Bill from start to finish. I congratulate him on his open-minded humanity, but he faces a long and uphill battle with his crusade to make the Conservative party begin to remake itself as compassionate and humane. I wish him and his other colleagues in the fight all the best for the future.

Meanwhile, we have a Bill that is as near perfect as possible, following its Committee and Report stage. I welcome the huge endorsement that the Bill gained on Second Reading, when it was passed by 423 votes to 49 and I caution the other place against further interference in the Bill. I look forward to its commencement next year. Many people are already planning what I know will be joyous celebrations of their civil partnerships in due course when the Bill comes into force and civil partnerships become a reality for same-sex couples who have longed for many years to have that opportunity.