Committee (and remaining stages)

Part of Constitutional Reform and Governance Bill – in the House of Lords at 12:30 am on 7th April 2010.

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Photo of Lord Norton of Louth Lord Norton of Louth Conservative 12:30 am, 7th April 2010

My Lords, I am very grateful for the Minister's response to the amendments, particularly for his response to Amendment 1. That is the most important amendment in the group because of the duty it imposes on the Minister for the Civil Service and the impact it may have on the Civil Service in relation to Parliament. From the point of view of Parliament itself, it is an extremely important amendment. I am therefore extremely grateful to the Minister for accepting it.

I take some of the points that have been made and I am grateful to noble Lords who have contributed to the debate, not least the noble Lord, Lord Armstrong of Ilminster, my former university chancellor. I am also grateful to some of his successors who have been in touch with me prior to the debate. I am grateful for the Minister's responses. I make two points in terms of my gratitude: one is what is placed on the record in response to some of the amendments. The other point touches on what the noble Lord, Lord Rooker, said earlier, that there will be an opportunity to come back to some of the points embodied in the amendments. Although there are drafting issues, some of the central points of what the amendments are getting at are important and worth coming back to. Indeed, from what the noble Lord, Lord Armstrong, was saying, I suspect that one of the amendments may prove acceptable to him with the removal of one word-"not"-in relation to that amendment. There will be an opportunity to review some of these issues in the way that the Minister has touched on. I am grateful for that response and content with what he has said. In the light of his acceptance of Amendment 1, I beg to move.