Deferred Divisions

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:19 pm on 28th March 2007.

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Photo of Anne Milton Anne Milton Shadow Minister (Culture and Tourism) 6:19 pm, 28th March 2007

I am not aware of the shadow Chancellor recommending anything. None of us is recommending anything. We are simply asking the Government to stop. What on earth is the rush? The Government have spent so long considering this issue that I fail to understand why they need to rush ahead now. If they were intent on listening to Parliament, they would listen to what they have heard tonight and in the previous few weeks: Parliament wants more time. There is no reason at all why they should not give Parliament more time. The Secretary of State and her Ministers could then be satisfied that Parliament had scrutinised the matter and that the decision was robust. Hon. Members, not least Labour Back Benchers, would then be a great deal happier.

I urge right hon. and hon. Members, especially those who signed the early-day motion calling for more scrutiny, to vote against the order. Nothing that has been said in the debate has given any Member who signed the early-day motion a reason to change their mind.

I reiterate that this is not about Blackpool or Manchester. It is not about the Secretary of State, or about voting with or against the Government. This is about Parliament. It is through us that Parliament can make the right decision that is based on proper scrutiny. We are in uncharted territory in which we face massive changes to gambling legislation, as the Government would admit. We will not and cannot support the order. I urge hon. Members on both sides of the House, especially Labour Members, to join us in doing what is, without doubt, the right thing and give us proper parliamentary scrutiny.