European Parliamentary and Local Elections (Pilots) Bill

Part of the debate – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:30 am on 30th October 2003.

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Photo of Mr Nick Hawkins Mr Nick Hawkins Conservative, Surrey Heath 9:30 am, 30th October 2003

I apologise for any unintentional discourtesy, Mr. Cook. I shall ensure that I speak through you and your fellow Chairman, Mr. Benton, when he is in the Chair. As you will appreciate, I was responding to the helpful intervention of my hon. Friend the Member for Galloway and Upper Nithsdale (Mr. Duncan).

I hope that in response to my hon. Friend's helpful suggestion, the hon. Member for Glasgow, Cathcart

will take this opportunity to vote with us. Perhaps we will once again see, as we did after the sitting was suspended on Tuesday, the welcome site of the Government's deputy Chief Whip, the hon. Member for Coventry, North-East (Mr. Ainsworth), rushing to the Committee Corridor with a face as black as thunder to find out what on earth was going on. We on the Conservative Benches would be very pleased to see that again.

We shall oppose the motion not only because we succeeded in opposing the programme motion on Tuesday but because we still believe that guillotines are wrong in principle. I hope that we will be able to persuade courageous Government Back Benchers such as the hon. Member for Glasgow, Cathcart to vote with us.