HC Deb 28 January 2002 vol 379 c80

As amended, considered.

7.10 pm
John McDonnell (Hayes and Harlington)

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I am aware that one of the original petitioners to the Bill has written to you, because the amendments tabled by the promoters would dramatically change the Bill. Mr. Matson has written to you asking that the Bill be referred back to Committee, as those amendments are significant. That would enable him and other petitioners to raise their petitions once more and examine the Bill in detail. I wondered whether you had replied to Mr. Matson, and whether you could share that reply with the House.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Sir Alan Haselhurst)

I am grateful to the hon. Member for giving me notice that he intended to raise that point of order. My reply to Mr. Matson is being despatched today. Obviously, it is a matter of judgment whether the Bill would he changed by the amendments to the extent that the hon. Gentleman suggests. In practice, when the question of revival was considered, the Bill on which I had to adjudicate was precisely the same Bill as was brought before the House in the last Parliament. That was the only issue. Of course it is open to Members to table amendments, and it is a matter for Mr. Speaker's judgment as to whether such amendments fall within the scope of the Bill. That was the judgment made in this case. I have advised Mr. Matson that, if there is a matter against which he wishes to petition, he will have an opportunity to do so when the Bill goes to the other place.

John McDonnell

Further to that point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. My point also relates to a matter raised by Mr. Matson in his earlier petitions, and to a statement that has been consistently made to the House since the Committee's original determination to refer the Bill back to the House with its recommendations. The City of London corporation promised the Committee that a package of reforms would be implemented in tandem with this legislation. Not a single one of those reforms has been processed, yet time and again they are referred to in the promoters' statement.

Will you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, examine whether it is possible to encourage the City of London corporation to implement those reforms, because they will bear heavily on the consideration of the Bill in this House, just as they did with the Committee, as reported in its statement.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

That is certainly not a matter for the Chair. Debate on such matters would be outside the scope of the Bill.

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