Quick update on what’s happening so far today in parliament…
I thought it was extremely unlikely we’d get the 100+ MPs here today that was needed to force closure motions, but it looks like the troops have been rallied… Under an arcane procedure that’s not really worth explaining (not least because no-one really understands it) a motion was moved before the debate started that ‘this house do sit in private’. It’s done to see whether the house is quorate (which means 35 MPs present) and the point of taking it before business starts is so that it can’t be done later. If it was done later, during the debate, and the House wasn’t quorate, then we’d have to down tools and go home. If it’s done before business starts, it doesn’t matter.
But there were 104 MPs voting on that, and I’m sure that others will be trickling in later. So there are more than 100 MPs in Parliament today. They may not all vote for closure, but it does make it more likely that we’ll get onto the Live Music Bill, which is good news.
The other news is that Nadine Dorries seems to have pulled her Bill from today’s Order Paper. I might pop outside at 10.30 to see if the planned protests against the Dorries Bill are still going ahead, but there’s not really anything to protest about. The Bill’s going nowhere.
At present Christopher Chope is moving the first amendment. The Mogg has intervened to tell him that China “as Noel Coward says, is very big” and Tom Harris seems to be the only Scottish MP that supports changing the clocks.