UK Borders Bill

Part of the debate – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:45 am on 27th February 2007.

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Photo of Crispin Blunt Crispin Blunt Opposition Whip (Commons) 10:45 am, 27th February 2007

I welcome you to the Chair of these proceedings, Mr. Illsley. I am minded to contribute to try to clarify what has just happened. The Committee has voted against having oral evidence from the Refugee Children’s Consortium, although the programme motion allows time not only for the Refugee Children’s Consortium, but for other witnesses, should the hon. Member for Hartlepool have desired to put forward alternative witnesses.

We have struck out the opportunity for the Refugee Children’s Consortium to give oral evidence to the Committee for no apparent reason other than to leave early. Under the programme motion as it is now, we will finish at 3.30 pm on Thursday 1 March, with an hour and a half of available, scheduled Committee time and no witnesses, despite the Committee having put them forward. I am surprised at the decision of Government Members to strike out the opportunity for the Refugee Children’s Consortium to give evidence; it has been told that it cannot give evidence without any alternative having been put forward by members of the Committee, which is deeply regrettable.