Clause 32

Part of Further Education and Training Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:30 pm on 14th June 2007.

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Photo of John Hayes John Hayes Shadow Minister (14-19 Reform and Apprenticeships) 3:30 pm, 14th June 2007

I would just like to say a few words to endorse much of what the Minister has said. His own  conduct, both before and during the Bill, has been of the highest order and an example that I hope to follow when I take his job in a short while.

I would like to endorse the thanks given to you, Mr. Atkinson. You have chaired our sittings with your usual competence and style. I also thank all the officials who have made our meetings run as smoothly as they have done.

I thank the hon. Member for Brent, East, with whom I have agreed to an alarming degree. She must be terribly pleased that I have allowed her to indulge her social diary, which I know is a whirlwind of exciting events.

I thank my hon. Friends the Members for Upminster, who has kept me in order, for Daventry, who is not here today, but is always a benevolent presence when we debate issues relating to higher and further education, for Rugby and Kenilworth, who is not entirely focused on financial matters, although occasionally he is rightly focused on them, and for Reading, East, who takes a profound interest and makes a valuable contribution in these areas.

I also want to thank the other Ministers, particularly the Under-Secretary of State for Education and Skills, the hon. Member for Corby, whose courage in recent weeks and months has been an example to us all. When he looks in the mirror, he does not think first of his recent illness; he thinks of that second. First, he thinks of his new-found virility, on the grounds that men without much hair are at least reputed to be particularly manly.

I thank all the hon. Members who have contributed to our debate. It has been a good, healthy, wholesome and productive debate. I am grateful to have been part of it.