House of Commons Commission (Annual Report)

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 4:39 pm on 3rd November 2005.

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Photo of Norman Baker Norman Baker Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 4:39 pm, 3rd November 2005

I am delighted to follow Dr. Whitehead, and I share his views on early-day motions. I can say with some feeling that they require more trouble than they achieve benefit. The irony is that their impact has become minuscule just as the public have become aware of them, almost in inverse proportions. The only value of early-day motions is that the public believe that they are worth something and therefore that something is happening. Indeed, my early-day motion 598 on Tasmania and the Gunns 20 caused considerable ructions in Australia, mainly because people there believed that it was vital in itself rather than because of its content, which I hasten to add I entirely recommend if Members have not signed it.