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National Lottery Bill

Part of the debate – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:30 am on 25th October 2005.

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Photo of Hugo Swire Hugo Swire Chair, Speaker's Advisory Committee on Works of Art, Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport 10:30 am, 25th October 2005

Mr. Cook, may I thank you in advance for your chairmanship of the Committee? You said earlier that the atmosphere in here is oppressive; I hope that that was a meteorological term rather than an emotional one, because I see no reason why the atmosphere over the next couple of weeks should be oppressive: it will be confrontational at times, I hope, because we fundamentally disagree with almost every aspect of the Bill, but it will certainly not be oppressive.

I am delighted to serve under your chairmanship, Mr. Cook, having served with you on the Speaker's Advisory Committee on Works of Art—perhaps a more esoteric Committee than this one, but as important in its own way. I know you for your judgment and fairness, and I am sure that you will indulge me. Although I have spoken on various Committees, I have never headed up for Her Majesty's Official Opposition before. If I start to flounder, I am sure that you will intervene and save me from embarrassment, because at times trying to follow the rationale behind the amendments to the Bill is like trying to follow ''EastEnders'' after missing six episodes. It does not really matter that I missed them, because I catch up after a bit—