Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Second Reading For Private Member's Bill

Ambushes continued apace yesterday as the unusual sight of a Private Members Bill passing it's First Reading occurred by a margin of 247 to 203.

This amendment to the Planning Act 2008 involved a move by opposition MP for Richmond Park, Susan Kramer (LibDem), introducing a legal block to the extension of Heathrow airport by requiring parliamentary approval for the proposals, with the support of Reading West's Martin Salter.

The Second Reading on March 20th could prove equally uncomfortable for the government as a number of Labour MPs are expected to rebel from the party line under pressure from active residents' groups in affected constituencies.

Oranjepan asks:
This will be the first chance for Martin Salter to show his true colours since he declared he will not stand for Parliament again. Will he backtrack, rebel or will he abstain?

Update: Reading Evening Post takes more than a week to get a quote from local MP, Martin Salter.


  1. abstention is most likely - 20th March is a Friday. If asked he says he has had "private assurances" from ministers - as he did over Crossrail and look what happened to that.

  2. So you don't think MS will show he is a man with 'heroic' principles now that he has unburdened himself from low electoral motives?

  3., it's a Ten Minute Rule Bill, don't ape the Post and uncritically accept the outpourings of Salter. It has virtually no chance of becoming law. On 20th March it is 5th when it is unlikely that more than the first two bills will be debated, then it will come back regularly on Fridays further down the list. Most Parliamentarians know they do not have to bother to turn up as it will not be debated.

    Know your history - Jane Griffiths had her own Ten Minute Rule Bill which was supported 3-1 in a vote, of a kind similar to the one on this bill. It was then second or third for debate on Friday, got ten minutes at the end off the day and never was debated again.

  4. Flash, if you're going to be pedantic, it's a private members bill not a ten minute rule bill.

    Furthermore it has wider implications as the issue cuts across party barriers in a period leading up to a general election - it is of massive interest, is seriously contentious and could swing the vote in a significant number of marginal constituencies.

    Maybe you've lost touch over there, but this is about the issues not the personalities.


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