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 John Burnett Mr John Burnett Liberal Democrat, Torridge and West Devon 4:30 pm, 7th January 2003

I, too, welcome you to the Chair, Mr. O'Hara. I see that your co-Chairman, Miss Begg, is keeping a watching brief, and I am delighted to welcome her. I have had the privilege of serving under your chairmanship on one or two occasions, Mr. O'Hara, but serving under the chairmanship of Miss Begg will be a first for me.

We are happy with the programme motion. I am delighted to sit on a Committee with two Ministers, both of whom I have had contact with in years past. I believe that the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, the hon. Member for Coventry, North-East—I suppose I must call him the lead Minister—was a Treasury Whip and a Whip on legal issues, so we have shared the experience of seeing various pieces of legislation through the House. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, the hon. Member for North Swindon, was a Minister in the Lord Chancellor's Department in a previous incarnation. In those happy days, I shadowed the Lord Chancellor and the Attorney General, so we have had quite a few dealings with each other. I have been on excellent terms with both Ministers and, although we did not always agree, business was conducted openly and fairly. The same can be said for the Government Whip serving on this Committee. I believe that he has served on three or four Finance Bill Committees.