I was rather confused as to what was going on in the Chamber so had a word with the Clerk – and then had to explain it to my colleagues! Apparently the first closure vote half an hour ago was a very rarely used procedure, that wasn’t calling for the debate on the first set of amendments to conclude, but simply for the person moving the amendment to finish his remarks and let others have a say. After some technical jargon from the clerk I said ‘so it was a “sit down and shut up Chope” vote?’ Apparently it was. It should be used far more often in future!
We then had half an hour of allowing others to speak, which was taken up by the Mogg, who was his usual charming self, and now we’ve voted to end that first set of amendments. (We would never be so rude as to move a “sit down and shut up Mogg” motion).
So this still means there are two more sets of amendments to go, and we’re halfway through today’s sitting (It’s 9.30am-2.30pm). We’ll need to deal with the second and third sets of amendments, and the Third Reading of the Daylight Saving Bill a bit quicker if we want to be sure of getting the Live Music Bill through too.
For many MPs this is their first Friday sitting. It’s taken me seven years and a spell as the duty whip for Private Members’ Bills to get my head round all the technicalities, and I’m still learning. They must be completely baffled! I hope it persuades at least a few of them of the need for reform.