Parliamentary Constituencies (Amendment) Bill

Part of the debate – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:00 am on 27 February 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of David Linden David Linden SNP Whip 10:00, 27 February 2019

As ever, it is an immense pleasure to see you in the Chair, Mr Owen, and to be back in this esteemed Public Bill Committee, which is making rapid progress through the legislative agenda—not. Having missed the Committee for a month, I have been reflecting on some of the other things that I have been able to do on a Wednesday morning. Of course, it has been a great sadness not to be here every Wednesday morning, which is why I am particularly pleased to be back.

I am incredibly busy today. I served on a Delegated Legislation Committee at 8.55 am, and now I am serving on this very heavy Committee. In all seriousness, this afternoon I am serving on the Committee considering the Holocaust (Return of Cultural Objects) (Amendment) Bill, which was brought forward by Theresa Villiers. I have been reflecting on how quickly we have managed to make progress on that Bill but not this one. Although I fully support the right hon. Lady in trying to take that legislation through, it sticks in my craw somewhat that, in the course of one afternoon, we will consider that private Member’s Bill, take it through its process and quite rightly ensure that it lands on the statute book, whereas the hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton is forced to come here—no longer weekly, but monthly—and sit through this complete charade.

That is symptomatic of what is happening in this place. Whether it is Brexit or this Bill, the Government are running down the clock until Parliament prorogues for a new Session, when, as we know, this Bill will unfortunately die. Of course, it is never too late. The Minister could go back to her Chief Whip and say, “We need to take this Bill through and ensure that the hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton gets it on the statute book.” I think that is very unlikely, but I will still come here every month and make those points.