Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:37 am on 15th March 2007.

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Photo of Iain Duncan Smith Iain Duncan Smith Conservative, Chingford and Woodford Green 11:37 am, 15th March 2007

This morning, I, with many others, attended at short notice the Delegated Legislation Committee debating the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007. Does the Leader of the House not accept that there is something wrong with proceedings if, a week after we discussed in the House the pre-eminence of the Commons in debates, such an important matter was dealt with in a Delegated Legislation Committee, which meant it was not possible for us to debate it extensively and vote on it in the Chamber? He will say that it is a matter for Front-Bench teams but, as the champion of Back-Bench issues in the House, does he not accept that we should have an opportunity to debate those issues properly? It is possible to be in favour of the principle, but worry about its impact, and we still do not have an answer to many issues surrounding adoption and education legislation. Will the Leader of the House champion Back-Bench issues and tell his colleagues that it is time to drag this matter back to the Floor of the House and debate it properly?