Private Members’ Bills — [Valerie Vaz in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 10:15 am on 13th April 2016.

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Photo of David Nuttall David Nuttall Conservative, Bury North 10:15 am, 13th April 2016

The answer to that lies in Standing Order No. 36. The hon. Lady referred in her speech to the assisted dying debate. Because there were so many Members in the House that day, there was no need to have closure motions, because the parties agreed that it would go through. It was the will of the House that there should be a vote, so a vote took place on the merits of the Bill. The important thing about that Bill was that, just as in the case of the Bills that the hon. Member for Manchester, Withington referred to, such as on the abolition of the death penalty and abortion, it was on a matter of conscience, on which Members have a free vote. To put it another way, the Government are neutral on such matters. As has been said a number of times this morning, no Back-Bench Member should expect their Bill to get through the House unless it has the support of the Government, or at least their tacit silent agreement to stand aside.