European Parliamentary and Local Elections (Pilots) Bill

Part of the debate – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:45 am on 30th October 2003.

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Photo of David Heath David Heath Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs) 9:45 am, 30th October 2003

I hear what the hon. Gentleman says, but it is rather a sophistical position because the motion before the House yesterday was to increase the amount of time by one day and had it been defeated, we should have been back to the original timetable. For that reason, we supported it then and I see no reason to oppose it now.

I look forward to a very long sitting this afternoon, because we clearly have to get the work done and it is in the interests of Opposition Members to take as long as we need to discuss the important matters under consideration. I hope that the Government Whip and the Conservative Whip will not collude at any point to bring matters to an early end. That would be a quite disgraceful truncation of our proceedings, and I am anxious to have every opportunity to give the Bill the scrutiny required to improve it.