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Modernisation

Volume 405: debated on Tuesday 20 May 2003

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31.

What recent representations he has received on the modernisation of the House of Commons. [114249]

I am grateful to be called again, Mr. Speaker. May I—

That is what happens when one gets two bites of the cherry. In the past month, my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House has received four letters on modernisation of the House of Commons, one of which was from my hon. Friend the Member for Crewe and Nantwich (Mrs. Dunwoody). Modernisation issues have also been raised with my right hon. Friend in informal conversations in the House and elsewhere, including during meetings of the Modernisation Committee, of which the hon. Member for Macclesfield (Sir Nicholas Winterton) is a member.

I am grateful for that reply, but bearing in mind the Minister's response to earlier questions relating to the Criminal Justice Bill and the huge number of additional clauses and amendments introduced by the Government, a very good case clearly exists for the House's finding additional time. Is it not sensible that the Modernisation Committee should give early consideration to this matter, to ensure that Parliament can do its proper job of adequately and fully scrutinising legislation that is of critical interest not only to this House, but to the people outside? I shall certainly use my good offices as a member of that Committee and as Chairman of the Procedure Committee to ensure that that happens.

I am pleased that the hon. Gentleman, who is a distinguished member of the Modernisation Committee, will use his position on it to make that very point.