Civil Partnership Bill [Lords]

Part of the debate – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:15 am on 21st October 2004.

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Photo of Alistair Carmichael Alistair Carmichael Shadow Spokesperson (Energy and Climate Change), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Energy and Climate Change) 9:15 am, 21st October 2004

When I spoke in the Committee about the programme motion on Tuesday, I observed that, given the size of the Bill, although it would be possible to examine it in the time allowed, there would not be much spare time, and that in order to complete a proper examination it would be incumbent on all hon. Members to be responsible in their remarks and not to delay the Committee unnecessarily.

It is now apparent that certain hon. Members were not minded to proceed in that way. The amount of business that we got through on Tuesday made it inevitable that the Programming Sub-Committee should reconvene, as it did last night. It seems to me that the Government, in making available extra time in an extra sitting on Tuesday, have quite properly recognised that the necessary progress was not made. We need to scrutinise all parts of the Bill, and I am particularly concerned about the parts relating to Scotland, as I am sure other hon. Members are. It is inevitable from the progress that we made on Tuesday that that scrutiny could not be carried out without the insertion of the knives. Accordingly, we should agree to the programme motion without the manuscript amendment of the hon. Member for Christchurch.