Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 7:21 pm on 15th July 2008.

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Photo of Baroness Royall of Blaisdon Baroness Royall of Blaisdon Chief Whip (House of Lords), HM Household, Chief Whip (House of Lords) 7:21 pm, 15th July 2008

My Lords, we are about to move on to the Planning Bill. I know that the timing has generated much frustration and anger. Noble Lords might well regard it as bad planning. I can assure noble Lords that the timing is not out of disrespect, either to noble Lords or to the Bill. Any anger expressed inside or outside the Chamber should be directed at me and not at my noble friend, who fights tenaciously for the Bill and proper timing.

The reality is that by retaining the Second Reading today I have angered some noble Lords; if I had moved it I would have annoyed other noble Lords. Thirty-seven noble Lords are down to speak. If an advisory time of seven minutes is followed, the Second Reading will take five to six hours. Because of the extraordinary timing, while recognising that it is proper and usual practice for those who have spoken in a debate to be there for the winding-up speeches, I am sure that on this occasion it would be understood if a noble Lord had to leave.