Charles Walker: My right hon. Friend makes his point well. I think that the point on which we would all agree is that there have to be caveats to any form of modelling. As Members will see when they look at the analysis, it sets out the caveats very clearly.
Charles Walker: There are more Opposition Members than Government Members down to speak, so I am just trying to balance it out before the end.
Charles Walker: I thank the hon. Gentleman for his self-discipline. Others had been shorter, so he was not in danger of eating up anyone else’s time.
Charles Walker: Order. Colleagues, 12 of you want to speak. I have worked out that, if you each speak for eight and a half minutes, we should get everyone in and leave 10 minutes each for the three Front-Benchers to make their winding-up speeches. I call Jim Fitzpatrick.
Charles Walker: Sorry, I got that wrong. I call Bill Grant. I do apologise, Jim; you will be next.
Charles Walker: I thank the Minister for Security for his statement. It is much appreciated by my constituents that he and his team are working so hard to ensure their safety. This is an incredibly difficult challenge, because the threat keeps changing and it is always difficult for our security forces to identify the threat at each stage of its development. However, they are doing a fantastic job. It is...
Charles Walker: My hon. Friend makes an excellent point. The people who work in our security forces do not get a day, an hour or even a minute off. They are constantly vigilant. I imagine that, even when they are not on duty, they take home their concerns and their enormous sense of responsibility to society. We should congratulate them and respect them for that. We talked about the responsibility of the...
Charles Walker: It is wonderful to see so many former Ministers on the Conservative Benches discovering their love of parliamentary sovereignty when they are no longer on the ministerial merry-go-round. I have far greater respect in this place for those parliamentarians who have never held ministerial office and actually respect this place, even when things are not going their way.
Charles Walker: My right hon. Friend is making an excellent speech. Does she agree that although time is short and there is a great deal of urgency to get this done, it seems that the House is up for it, and that we will find the time and the sense of vim and vigour to really exercise our scrutiny function?
Charles Walker: I thank my hon. Friend for his kind words about the excellent work of the Procedure Committee. Does he accept that one of this House’s great achievements has been the work of Select Committees and the cross-party consensus that they can find and build?
Charles Walker: We based the model on the European Scrutiny Committee, in which the Chairman is appointed.
Charles Walker: rose—
Charles Walker: I thank the right hon. Lady—I mean the hon. Lady—for her kind words. Why she is not right honourable escapes me! Perhaps that will be remedied soon. One of the important things to remember about the sifting committee, as she reminded me yesterday, is that if, as I suspect, there will be eight Government members and eight Opposition members, the Chair, who will be appointed, will...
Charles Walker: May I apologise, as Chair of the Procedure Committee, for arriving late to my hon. Friend’s speech? I thought I had missed all of his speech, then I realised I had missed half of it, but it now seems that I have only missed a third of it. However, I do apologise for arriving late, and I hope he accepts that apology at face value.
Charles Walker: I certainly will bear that in mind, Dame Rosie, and thank you for calling me. I rise to speak to my amendments 392 to 398. I am not going to read out each one for the benefit of colleagues, because all colleagues can read. The amendments have been covered by various colleagues, from both sides of the House, so I shall stick to discussing the broad principles, but I will of course be happy to...
Charles Walker: I count the hon. Gentleman as a great friend, and say to him that yes, all too often I have come to this place in a state of high dudgeon, deeply depressed by the performance of my Government’s Front-Bench team, but on this occasion I assure him that the Government have accepted amendments and tabled draft Standing Orders, which are available today for all colleagues to read, so...
Charles Walker: My hon. Friend tempts me so much. It is not my intention today to spook the Government, but I think the sifting committee will probably be so successful that the Government and the House will want to embrace it for all negative SIs going forward. I listened to the concerns expressed by the hon. Member for Edinburgh East (Tommy Sheppard) about the performance of Delegated Legislation...
Charles Walker: As Chairman of the Select Committee, will my hon. Friend look at the suggestion made by the right hon. Member for Exeter (Mr Bradshaw) about making bass a recreational species only? Will he and his Committee look into that?
Charles Walker: Does my hon. Friend accept that that will allow us to manage better our sea bass stocks for both commercial and recreational fishermen?
Charles Walker: It is simply madness to suggest that someone in a west end restaurant can sit down to eat wild bass caught by a commercial fisherman, but that one of my hon. Friend’s constituents, or one of my constituents on a day out at the beach, cannot keep a single fish that they catch off the beach or on a boat. That is simply not tenable.