Regulation of Financial Services (Land Transactions) Bill

Part of the debate – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:30 am on 5 July 2005.

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Photo of Mark Field Mark Field Shadow Financial Secretary 10:30, 5 July 2005

I reiterate the Minister's words about your presence at your first Standing Committee sitting, Mr. Caton. I hope that it will be a good-natured Committee, but I am sure that you will take control if there is any difficulty on that score. You may know that I have moved into your old office in Portcullis House. I can confirm to the Committee that there are no bodies buried in that office, and so can only assume that your elevation to your new role has nothing to do with any leadership challenges in any of the main parties.

I welcome the Minister to the Committee. Like him, I am a keen football fan, but I have had even more travails, as I follow Bury. Gigg Lane is not in his constituency but in the neighbouring constituency of Bury, North, but I am sure that he has at least a partial allegiance to Bury, given that it is some three divisions lower than Manchester City, which I understand is his first love. That is probably a somewhat easier sharing of allegiance than might otherwise be the case.

I also welcome the hon. Member for Richmond Park to the Committee, which I suspect will be relatively straightforward. The Bill has not been subject to any great controversy. I thank my hon. Friends the Members for South-West Hertfordshire (Mr. Gauke) and for Forest of Dean (Mr. Harper)—both of whom, to my knowledge, are not leadership candidates; we belong to a somewhat more exclusive club, being the electors rather than electees—for their sterling contributions on Second Reading. They may also wish to chip in during this morning's proceedings. Without further ado, I am happy on behalf of the Opposition to give the thumbs up to the motion.