Fees debate – latest

Sometimes I don’t know why I try to explain what goes on in this place….

There has been a change of plan for tonight – basically because the Government is in complete chaos over the fees issue and daren’t risk the business motion. (See earlier post if you don’t know what I’m talking about). The corridors are full of Government whips and aides running round, trying to work out what’s going on and who’s going to do what on Thursday, and I think they just didn’t know what sort of rebellion they’d be facing if they tried to push the business motion tonight.

So instead of the business motion on “how long we get on Thursday to debate tuition fees” being debated tonight, it’s going to be tabled tomorrow, which happens to be a one-line whip for all-parties but presumably quite a lot of MPs will now stay on for it.

The good news is that the business motion has been amended, so that five hours is to be allowed for the fees debate on Thursday (assuming that is, that the business motion is passed).

In other news, it looks as if Willets is being lined up for both debates, on the business motion and on fees. Cable will presumably sit next to him on the frontbench looking statesmanlike.

All this of course is subject to change, depending on what ducking and diving and weaving the Government whips have to do to deliver the vote on Thursday. Watch this space…

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  • Civil  On December 7, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    Funny. I heard it was because the whips (on both sides) don’t want to keep the partys back until 1am or beyond.

    I’m not sure why people are worried about the programme motion. If it’s passed, it means the Commons can debate for the full 5 hours they want. If it fails, then the Commons gets less time and has to stop at the 7pm cut off.

  • kerrymccarthy  On December 8, 2010 at 12:24 am

    You heard wrong. Labour was quite happy to stay late tonight, we were geared up for it, and had nothing to do with the Govt whips deciding not to move the business motion. My understanding is that if it wasn’t passed the business couldn’t be heard on Thursday (NB it’s a business motion, not a programme motion which simply deals with length of time). And we finish at 6pm on Thursdays not 7pm.

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