Debate on Afghanistan this afternoon

There’s a debate on Afghanistan starting around 2pm-ish. I bumped into Roberta Blackman-Woods MP earlier, chair of the All-Party Group on Afghanistan. She’s been to Afghanistan before, but this week was out there with Sir Richard Dannatt and his team. She’ll be speaking in the debate but the defence whip tells me there are twenty or so speakers, and the big guns are out on the front benches – David Miliband opening, Bob Ainsworth closing for the Government, and William Hague and Liam Fox for the Tories, so backbench speeches are going to be tight for time. At the moment it’s being advertised on the annunicator as an 8 minute limit on backbench speeches but what usually happens is that gets squeezed by long front-bench contributions and lots of interventions. I hope Roberta gets called early, and isn’t one of those who gets cut down to a few minutes just before wind-ups start.
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