Clause 7 - Amendment and repeals

Part of Armed Forces – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:15 am on 24th February 2004.

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Photo of Gerald Howarth Gerald Howarth Shadow Minister (Defence) 10:15 am, 24th February 2004

It is seldom in Committee that the Opposition get any credit. [Interruption.] I have to say in response to the Minister's protestations that I sat for a long time on the Government Benches. It always struck me that one extraordinary thing about the House of Commons was the idea that the Opposition never had any good ideas while the Government could improve Bills by a modest 200 or 300 amendments here or there.

That always seemed to be bizarre, and here is a case in which the Government have recognised that there is a lacuna—the Minister with his legal knowledge will correct me if that is the wrong word—in the processes. We are grateful that the Government have responded and saved themselves some embarrassment in finding that their legislation was inadequate. We have more contributions to make, but we are pleased to have played a modest part in ensuring that appellants can access the funds that are available.