Digital Economy Bill [ Lords]

Part of Business of the House – in the House of Commons at 4:27 pm on 6th April 2010.

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Photo of Ben Bradshaw Ben Bradshaw The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport 4:27 pm, 6th April 2010

No. I shall make some progress. Many hon. Members want to speak in the debate, and if I take too many interventions, they will not get the chance to make their speeches.

It is not true to say, as some have claimed, that the provisions of the Bill have not already been the subject of considerable discussion. Many of them have been heralded for some time in the reports of Select Committees of both Houses, including our own Select Committee chaired by Mr. Whittingdale. Many of them were contained in the Government's "Digital Britain" White Paper published last summer after a year's meticulous work by my former ministerial colleague, Lord Carter.

That report was subject to a full public consultation and rigorous scrutiny by the relevant Select Committees of both Houses. More recently, the Bill passed through the other place which, as I am sure hon. Members will recognise, contains a large number of peers who show a great interest in these matters. That is perhaps why the Bill took a month longer than we would have hoped to complete its Lords progress. It was debated for 12 full days-more than 50 hours-on the Floor of the other House, during which some 700 amendments were tabled. As my right hon. and learned Friend the Leader of the House reminded colleagues in Business questions, it had more debating time in the other place than any other Bill in this parliamentary Session.

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