Extradition Bill

Part of the debate – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:30 pm on 7th January 2003.

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Photo of Mr Nick Hawkins Mr Nick Hawkins Conservative, Surrey Heath 4:30 pm, 7th January 2003

I echo the Minister's welcome to you, Mr. O'Hara, and to your fellow Chairman, Miss Begg, who will be chairing some Committee sittings. I also echo the Minister's welcome to all members of the Committee and hope that they had a successful and happy Christmas and new year break.

As the Minister said, there was no contention at the short Programming Sub-Committee meeting. The matter was left to be reconsidered at a future meeting; whether the motion needs to be adjusted depends on what progress is made on the Bill. At this stage, we are content with how the Committee sittings are set out in the programme motion. I am grateful to the Minister and the Government Whip for the flexibility they have shown in saying that they will be happy to reconvene the Programming Sub-Committee if it is necessary to reconsider the matter. At this stage, I need do nothing more than echo the Minister's view that consideration of the Bill will undoubtedly be

shorter than that given to the Proceeds of Crime Bill, although it may be a rematch for some of us.

The Minister did not mention my hon. Friend the Member for Henley (Mr. Johnson), who sadly cannot be here today because his children are ill, but who hopes to be with us before long. He is also a veteran of the Committee that considered the Proceeds of Crime Bill, but I am sure that all of us who sat on the Committee will especially miss the contributions made by the hon. Member for Glasgow, Pollok (Mr. Davidson) from the Government Back Benches. On one day, he almost caused the Government Whip on that Committee to have apoplexy by single-handedly causing 18 Divisions to be called. The Minister will remember that as well as I do, as I have no doubt that it contributed to his frozen shoulder when he kept turning around to try to prevent the hon. Member from causing more Divisions to be called. Having said that, I am sure that we will proceed successfully on the basis of the programme motion.