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Clause 1 - Deputy Governors

Part of Financial Services Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:00 am on 21st February 2012.

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Photo of Chris Leslie Chris Leslie Shadow Minister (Treasury) 11:00 am, 21st February 2012

But that would be very tempting.

I have discovered that my hon. Friend the Member for Leeds North East is a governor of the Northern School of Contemporary Dance, which may surprise the Committee. He is a governor and I am not therefore sure, in legal terms, whether the Bill might allow him to be appointed to the court of directors. That is a small and even a silly drafting point, but I cannot understand why the Bill is so drafted. The use of the indefinite article seems sloppy and imprecise. Will the Minister explain its use?

An indefinite article indicates that its noun is not a particular one identifiable to the reader. It may refer to something that is mentioned for the first time or it may mean that the precise identity is irrelevant or hypothetical, which is obviously not the case because the precise identity in the clause is important. In my view, a general reference to “a Governor” is insufficient. If the Minister wishes to withdraw the clause and to bring back a properly drafted one on Report, I will not object.