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 Wilshire David Wilshire Conservative, Spelthorne 9:45 am, 30th October 2003

I am not going to.

I shall respond to some of the comments that have been made. It was suggested that a deal had been done, but it has not. If consultations had taken place, that might have avoided what happened yesterday morning. Knowing of your predicament later on that day, Mr. Cook, I indicated on behalf of the Opposition that we would do what we could to assist the Chair. However, that is not up to the Opposition, unless the Government again finds that Members cannot be bothered to turn up and we are able to defeat the motion. We would then be able to provide such assistance.

The hon. Member for Somerton and Frome said that it was wrong of us to oppose guillotine motions. If he thought about that, he would understand that it was right. He joined us in opposing a guillotine motion on Tuesday morning, and we defeated the Government and got them to concede something. The logic is always that, sooner or later, if we oppose in principle, the Government will not get a majority or they will admit that they are wrong.