Clause 99

Part of – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:45 am on 24th March 2009.

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Photo of John Hayes John Hayes Shadow Minister (Education) 11:45 am, 24th March 2009

I do not want to cause the Minister any more unnecessary pain about a circumstance that he has described publicly, in the media, in pretty lurid terms, so I shall return to the amendment.

Given the tone and content of the hon. Gentleman’s response, I think that we should press the amendment to a vote. That is not because it would, if passed, make the clause or the Bill ideal, but because it would to some degree mitigate the weaknesses inherent in the structure that the Government are proposing by obliging the kind of consultation that the Minister says is taking place anyway. The Minister repeatedly tells us that things do not need to be in the Bill because they are ipso facto and that things do not need to be in guidance because no sensible Government would not do them. However, we know that that is not the history of Governments, and of this Government in particular.