Clause 14

Part of Compensation Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 6:45 pm on 27th June 2006.

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Photo of Simon Hughes Simon Hughes Shadow Attorney General, Shadow Lord Chancellor and Shadow Secretary of State for Justice, Party Chair, Liberal Democrats 6:45 pm, 27th June 2006

I was aware that the Lords Committee took that view. This morning, I learned for the first time from my noble Friend Lord Wallace of Saltaire that there are more formerly active trade union Members in the House of Lords than in the House of Commons. I leave Labour colleagues to reflect on the ability of the Labour movement in the House of Commons to represent working women and men in its traditional way. Clearly, new Labour has taken over the Commons more quickly it has taken over the Lords.

I am not satisfied with the result. The Minister is right: I have always been particular in trying to ensure that we do not legislate when we do not need to and that we do not create work that we do not need to do. However, I still think that this is an appropriate matter for compulsory debate and vote. I will seek the Committee’s leave to withdraw the amendment, but I give notice that I intend to return to it. I hope that I can persuade colleagues to support me on Report.

In the interim, I ask the Minister to reflect on whether, having taken advice, she might be willing to  respond positively to what I hope has been a constructive suggestion and approach in Committee from the Liberal Democrats. I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.