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My Lords, I wish to make a few comments and add my thanks at this stage of the Bill. I congratulate the Minister on her courtesy and good humour during the passage of a Bill that we on these Benches have regarded as somewhat partisan. She has sought to cross that divide and we are grateful for the amendments she has persuaded the Government to accept.
The role of the Cross Benches has been very important. It has not been mentioned but the noble Lords, Lord Kerslake, Lord Pannick and Lord Burns have all played a very important part in the Bill and in achieving the amendments. I have enjoyed working with the Labour Benches and rekindling old friendships. I hope that it will be a basis for other matters in the future in this Session of Parliament.
We have regarded it as a very partisan Bill. We regret that it does not address the real issues for the country—the economy and productivity—and we hope that the Government will accept the amendments that the House of Lords has passed on political funds and electoral balloting when it goes back.