Parliamentary Constituencies (Amendment) Bill

Part of the debate – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:00 am on 31 October 2018.

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Photo of David Linden David Linden SNP Whip 10:00, 31 October 2018

My hon. Friend is spot on. I remember speaking—in the distant past—on Second Reading in December 2017, as a young, fresh-faced MP. I will leave it to the Committee to judge how I have fared since. I remember making it clear during that debate—back when we could talk about the substance of the Bill—that I wanted to see the Bill amended in certain areas. I wanted the number of constituencies to be protected, as is the case in Northern Ireland, and I wanted us to consider the electoral quota again, but we have come so far down the path of parliamentary procedure and game playing from the Government, that we are unable to talk about the substance of the Bill.

I believe that my hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, Gorton, is reasonable and wants to listen to colleagues. If the Government gave the Bill a money resolution, they would not necessarily need to allow it to progress. All we ask them to do is give it a money resolution so that we can discuss its contents. My hon. Friend is an entirely reasonable individual who will take on board the opinions of Committee members, who are dwindling. The number of Conservative Members on the Committee who have shown up either just once or not at all is a gross discourtesy to the House.

With that, I will leave my comments for this week. Hopefully, when we return for the 18th episode of this charade, we might make some progress.