Division number 176
On a point of order, Mr Speaker. I want to raise a real concern among Labour Members. We voted against the programme motion—we presented an alternative—and we will not be able to debate our amendment on the devolution settlement in the House because we will not have sufficient time. We therefore—[Interruption.]
Order. Mr Bowie, you are usually the epitome of urbanity and restraint. There is an enormous amount of gesticulation taking place of a very unseemly character, of which our witnesses, sitting cerebrally in the Gallery, would almost certainly very strongly disapprove. [Interruption.] Order. A Government Whip chunters from a sedentary position, “They love it”. I do not know whether he has conducted his own opinion poll, but they may not be a homogeneous group—some of them may love it and some of them may not, but we do not know. We are going to hear from Mr Sweeney, who is himself a most cerebral individual, and then we will proceed.
Insufficient parliamentary time has been allocated for debate. We presented an alternative programme motion that would have afforded sufficient time. I therefore seek your advice, Mr Speaker, in relation to how the Labour party will stand up for the people of Scotland and the devolution settlement, and how we can deliver that amendment. It is not acceptable that we are unable to debate it in Government time, so we seek your advice.
I always take the hon. Gentleman extremely seriously—[Interruption.] Order. I most certainly do. He is a very assiduous new Member of this House, and I do. However, I hope he will not take it amiss if I say that I think what he has just said amounted to a declaration of intent on his own behalf and that of his colleagues to get his message across. I am not sure that, in any meaningful sense at this point, he is really in need of my advice. In so far as he wants my advice, my general advice to all colleagues is a word beginning with p and ending with t—persist. Persist, man!
Order. I think that it is better if we—[Interruption.] Order. I am saving Ian Blackford up; it would be a pity to squander him too early in our proceedings—[Interruption.] Order. Joanna Cherry should calm herself. I will hear fully from the right hon. Gentleman when he is ready. All I am suggesting to colleagues—it is hardly a controversial proposition—is that it might be tidy if we first dispose of the remaining amendments in the group. I will hear the right hon. Gentleman either before or after the second group of amendments, the choice being his. The idea that that should evoke headshaking and disapproval is frankly beyond credulity. The leader of the Scottish National party, whose point of order it is, seems perfectly content with that proposed arrangement, and I am grateful to him for his nod from a sedentary position in confirmation of that important fact.
I am coming to the hon. Gentleman, too.
Lords amendments 11 to 14, 18, 21 to 23, 44, 47, 102 to 107, 112, 113, 115 to 119, 121 to 124, 126, 127, 130 to 134, 136 to 140, 142 to 148, 150, 152, 154, 156 to 158, 171 and 172 agreed to, with Commons financial privileges waived in in respect of Lords amendments 13, 18, 22 and 121 to 124.
As the House is in a state of repose, I suggest, building on earlier conversations that perfectly properly took place with the Chair, that we come now to the next Lords amendment, but if the right hon. Member for Ross, Skye and Lochaber, who leads his party, would prefer to raise his point of order now, I will be perfectly sanguine about that.
No. He will come to it afterwards. Very good; I am grateful to him for his guidance.
Before Clause 10