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Children Act 1989 (Amendment) (Female Genital Mutilation) Bill [Lords]

– in a Public Bill Committee on 5th March 2019.

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[Steve McCabe in the Chair]

Photo of Steve McCabe Steve McCabe Labour, Birmingham, Selly Oak 9:25 am, 5th March 2019

Will people please make sure their mobile devices are off or on silent? Also, we do not normally have coffee in Committees.


That the Children Act 1989 (Amendment) (Female Genital Mutilation) Bill [Lords] do meet on Tuesdays when the House is sitting at 9.25 a.m. and 2.00 p.m.—(Zac Goldsmith.)

Photo of Steve McCabe Steve McCabe Labour, Birmingham, Selly Oak

We now come to line-by-line consideration of the Bill. The selection list for today’s sitting is available in the room. That shows how the clauses and any selected amendments have been grouped for debate.

Photo of Michael Tomlinson Michael Tomlinson Conservative, Mid Dorset and North Poole

On a point of order, Mr McCabe. I notified you in advance that I would raise this point of order. As I understand it, you have ruled that my two new clauses are out of scope of the Bill. As it happens, I completely agree. I consulted the excellent Clerk to the Committee, who helped me with this and also gave me that advice. You are both absolutely right.

I just want to explain to the Committee that the reason I tabled the new clauses was not that I wanted to affect or damage the Bill, or to harm its prospects in any way—quite the opposite; I want to ensure that it has smooth passage. However, I thought wider issues such as our international development work and the impact on the family courts were worthy of the Committee’s consideration.

Be that as it may, I do not seek to overturn your ruling, Mr McCabe, which was absolutely right. However, it seems that scope has some elasticity and flexibility when it comes to Brexit business, but that the old rules apply when it comes to the important issue of female genital mutilation, and I am bound to say that I want that placed on the record.

Photo of Steve McCabe Steve McCabe Labour, Birmingham, Selly Oak

I am delighted that I have no responsibility for the Brexit arrangements, but you have managed to make your point, Mr Tomlinson, and it is on the record. No one doubts your good intentions, but the new clauses are beyond the scope of the Bill. I think we will leave the matter there.