Committee (11th Day)

Part of Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill – in the House of Lords at 7:30 pm on 19th January 2011.

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Photo of Lord Forsyth of Drumlean Lord Forsyth of Drumlean Conservative 7:30 pm, 19th January 2011

I will put this very gently. What are we doing here? This is a Chamber of Parliament. We are debating legislation. My noble and learned friend speaks for the Government and says that a Minister in the other place reads our proceedings and will have a meeting. I am sorry, but that is treating this House with contempt. None of us wants to create a Division here, but the arguments have been put, this is Parliament, and surely the Minister's duty is either to say "Your arguments are rubbish and we do not accept them", or "I will go and talk to my colleagues to see if we can get collective agreement to meet them". Simply to say "We will have a meeting" is not acceptable and not treating this House as a House of Parliament.