National Health Service (Amended Duties and Powers) Bill

Part of the debate – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:00 am on 4th February 2015.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of David Nuttall David Nuttall Conservative, Bury North 11:00 am, 4th February 2015

I need to stack up the points I have not dealt with, so I will just park that for one second and deal with the point raised by my hon. Friend the Member for St Ives. In answer, Mr Hood, to the subsequent point of order and your strictures on the point, I have no intention whatever of repeating what I said before my hon. Friend came in. I am sorry that he missed those remarks. As a point of information to him, I did not move my amendment at 9 am. One or two points of order had to be made and then the promoter of the Bill moved the sittings motion. I am not being critical; I am just pointing out that it was only a little while before my hon. Friend arrived that I stood to speak.

Let me turn to the point raised by my right hon. Friend the Member for East Yorkshire. To be perfectly honest, had the Committee and those who want to see the Bill progress through its stages in the House—as we all do—gone down that particular road, I think we could have reached a consensus. Rather than having a Division on whether it is better to sit on a Tuesday morning at 10 am, on a Wednesday at 9.25 am and 2 pm, as the sittings motion proposes, or, as my right hon. Friend’s amendment suggests, at 9.25 am, perhaps we could have sat down and reached an agreement. That would have been a speedier and more efficient way of dealing with that than what we are doing at the moment. I am convinced that my proposal that we sit on a Tuesday at 10 am, when the House is not sitting, is better than sitting on a Wednesday.

Let me turn to a matter that I have not raised before, but which is extremely relevant. I am a member of the Procedure Committee, which meets, and, by tradition, has always met, as far as I am aware—certainly throughout this Parliament—at 3 pm on a Wednesday. My hon. Friend the Member for North East Somerset is also a member of that Committee. Those are facts that I had in my mind when I considered whether it was appropriate for me to table an amendment, as is perfectly orderly, to sit on another day. I am conscious that my hon. Friend is also a member of the European Scrutiny Committee, which I think I am right in saying—although I am not a member of that Committee—sits at 2 pm on a Wednesday.