Results 81–100 of 1114 for speaker:Mr Peter Duncan

Orders of the Day — Scottish Parliament (Constituencies) Bill: Schedule 1 — Substitution of Schedule 1 to the Scotland Act 1998 (4 May 2004)

Mr Peter Duncan: I am very grateful, Sir Michael. After all that time, I was not sure that the hon. Gentleman would come back to me. He mentioned that each MSP was involved in 2.9 committees. Does he not accept that the simple solution would be to have fewer committees? Is not it the quality of legislation and of government in Scotland that is important, and not the quantity of the legislation that is created?

Orders of the Day — Scottish Parliament (Constituencies) Bill: Schedule 1 — Substitution of Schedule 1 to the Scotland Act 1998 (4 May 2004)

Mr Peter Duncan: I may be one of the few hon. Members on this side of the House who knows what the right hon. Lady is talking about. I accept her point about not wanting to miss the bus, but this commission is being set up to solve the problem of non-coterminous boundaries. Until the Bill becomes an Act, we do not have a problem with non-coterminous boundaries. As and when the Bill becomes legislation, we...

Orders of the Day — Scottish Parliament (Constituencies) Bill: Schedule 1 — Substitution of Schedule 1 to the Scotland Act 1998 (4 May 2004)

Mr Peter Duncan: The right hon. Lady talks about introducing stability, but the problems that the Government face stem from the fact that they are already changing the system. Their own Labour Members were with them, so there was a "consensus", as they like to call it, on their side. Now, however, they are moving the goalposts and that is what is causing the problem.

Orders of the Day — Scottish Parliament (Constituencies) Bill: Schedule 1 — Substitution of Schedule 1 to the Scotland Act 1998 (4 May 2004)

Mr Peter Duncan: Of course, in the long and involved passage of the Scotland Act 1998, we can find quotations in all directions. I am pointing out the magnitude of the Government's U-turn. It is beyond question that they have gone back on their commitment to implement the Act unamended.

Orders of the Day — Scottish Parliament (Constituencies) Bill: Schedule 1 — Substitution of Schedule 1 to the Scotland Act 1998 (4 May 2004)

Mr Peter Duncan: I am happy to confirm that the Conservative party made that argument in both Houses, and we take no lessons in consistency from the hon. Gentleman. The hon. Member for Cunninghame, South has waved the white flag on 129. Like me, he opposed the political fix in principle, yet the amendment would allow a stitch-up to let things proceed with some kind of amicability on the Labour Back Benches....

Orders of the Day — Scottish Parliament (Constituencies) Bill: Schedule 1 — Substitution of Schedule 1 to the Scotland Act 1998 (4 May 2004)

Mr Peter Duncan: I am coming to some constructive points about the amendment. I share some of the concerns that were expressed about the commission and its open-ended nature. The Scottish Conservative party has declined the invitation to nominate someone to the commission, on the basis that it is unnecessary at present. The problem that the commission is being set up to solve is that of non-coterminous...

Orders of the Day — Scottish Parliament (Constituencies) Bill: Schedule 1 — Substitution of Schedule 1 to the Scotland Act 1998 (4 May 2004)

Mr Peter Duncan: The right hon. Gentleman need not get so excited. Perhaps he did not fully understand me the first time. We take the view that the commission will have its place in time, when the Bill has been enacted, but we have not given up on successfully opposing its passage. If the Bill is not enacted, there is no need for a commission, because we will not have non-coterminous boundaries.

Orders of the Day — Scottish Parliament (Constituencies) Bill: Schedule 1 — Substitution of Schedule 1 to the Scotland Act 1998 (4 May 2004)

Mr Peter Duncan: We are on record as supporting first past the post. We argued for it in proceedings on the Scotland Act 1998 and will continue to do so.

Orders of the Day — Scottish Parliament (Constituencies) Bill: Schedule 1 — Substitution of Schedule 1 to the Scotland Act 1998 (4 May 2004)

Mr Peter Duncan: I do not agree that there is only a vain hope of defeating the Bill. To my recollection, only one Labour Member spoke in favour of the Bill on Second Reading. Every single other Labour Back Bencher was directly critical of it. What will be different is if on Third Reading we can tempt them to follow that through and join us in the Lobby. We believe that the decline in turnout in Scottish...

Orders of the Day — Scottish Parliament (Constituencies) Bill: Schedule 1 — Substitution of Schedule 1 to the Scotland Act 1998 (4 May 2004)

Mr Peter Duncan: I am delighted to have my hon. Friend's company in the Committee tonight. He holds up the esteem of Conservative Back Benchers with aplomb, as usual. The imaginative proposal for two small constituencies per Westminster constituency offers interesting possibilities. It would allow for a more local voice in the Scottish Parliament, could create a greater link with councils and councillors and...

Orders of the Day — Scottish Parliament (Constituencies) Bill: Schedule 1 — Substitution of Schedule 1 to the Scotland Act 1998 (4 May 2004)

Mr Peter Duncan: Perhaps the Scottish Conservatives winning the first by-election of that Parliament made that tragedy somewhat more legitimate. There is considerable resentment among Labour Back Benchers about the role of regional and list MSPs. They were sceptical during the passage of the 1998 Act and I suppose that nothing that has happened in the past five or six years has convinced them that it is other...

Orders of the Day — Scottish Parliament (Constituencies) Bill: Schedule 1 — Substitution of Schedule 1 to the Scotland Act 1998 (4 May 2004)

Mr Peter Duncan: The hon. Gentleman is right. As I said during my comments on the first group of amendments, this Bill is a clever drafting job. A lot of effort went into its drafting to preclude debate any wider than the Government wanted. It is perhaps unfortunate that we have not been able to discuss some of the issues that he and I want to discuss, even if the Government do not. The amendments are...

Orders of the Day — Scottish Parliament (Constituencies) Bill: Schedule 1 — Substitution of Schedule 1 to the Scotland Act 1998 (4 May 2004)

Mr Peter Duncan: I commend the hon. Member for Cunninghame, South (Mr. Donohoe) for introducing this group of amendments. They are a valiant attempt to improve the Bill but, in his heart of hearts, he might well think—and perhaps he will not be reticent about saying so—that this Bill is, arguably, incapable of amendment. It is a bad and unnecessary Bill. It is not necessary to introduce this measure at...

Orders of the Day — Scottish Parliament (Constituencies) Bill: Schedule 1 — Substitution of Schedule 1 to the Scotland Act 1998 (4 May 2004)

Mr Peter Duncan: Thank you, Mr. Cook. Perhaps we can engage in that subject later. The fact is that the Bill that the hon. Member for Cunninghame, South is attempting to amend is unnecessary. Like me, he will recall the comments of Henry McLeish, who said: "we also believe that the Parliament could operate effectively with fewer Members, and that there are good arguments for maintaining the linkage in...

Orders of the Day — Scottish Parliament (Constituencies) Bill: Schedule 1 — Substitution of Schedule 1 to the Scotland Act 1998 (4 May 2004)

Mr Peter Duncan: Does the hon. Gentleman share my surprise that all this havoc and chaos was predicted in 1998 during the passage of the Act, as can be seen from the debates on Second Reading, Third Reading and Committee? Everyone knew that this would happen if we strayed away from coterminous boundaries. It is the Government who have done the U-turn, in an embarrassed fashion, to create the second pillar to...

Orders of the Day — Scottish Parliament (Constituencies) Bill: [Sir Alan Haselhurst in the Chair] — Clause 1 — Constituencies and Regions (4 May 2004)

Mr Peter Duncan: I am glad that I was able to hear the Scottish nationalist spokesman announce his party's change of policy on the matter. I have great sympathy with the hon. Member for Clydesdale (Mr. Hood), who wants to amend the Bill in a way that would render its format acceptable to him and his colleagues. Clearly, the Bill was drafted in a very expert manner. It took a long time, and the aim was to...

Orders of the Day — Scottish Parliament (Constituencies) Bill: [Sir Alan Haselhurst in the Chair] — Clause 1 — Constituencies and Regions (4 May 2004)

Mr Peter Duncan: I am trying to get to the root of the hon. Gentlemen's amendment. If, as the right hon. Member for Cunninghame, North (Mr. Wilson) suggests, the Bill is a load of old rubbish and there is little support for it across the Chamber, why is it being introduced and what does the hon. Member for Clydesdale (Mr. Hood) think that that says about the power balance in the Scottish Labour party?

Written Answers — Home Department: Entry Visas (29 Apr 2004)

Mr Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the role of the Scottish Executive in determining Government policy on issuing entry visas.


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