John Hemming's Web Log John's Reference Website
Thursday, October 09, 2008
  New Clause 8 - talked out by the government
New Clause 8 was the clause to increase accountability and reduce miscarriages of justice in the family courts.

This fell yesterday because it didn't have time. It was in fact this amendment that was talked out by the government not the smacking ones - they came later.

The way amendments work at the report stage is that they come in strings. Once The House has started to debate a string then any votes required to conclude the business can occur.

Yesterday's strings were:
Long-term residential placements and duties on local authorities
Govt NC19 + NC6 + NC24 + NC26 + NC28 + 13 + 14 + 18
+ Govt 8 + Govt 9

Fostering
NC7 + NC13 + NC23

Family proceedings
NC8

Human rights, immigration agency, pilots etc
NC17 + 5 + Govt 4 + 6

Reasonable chastisement
NC18 + NC25 + 15 + 16

Supplementary and technical provisions
Govt 7 + Govt 10 + Govt NS1

You can see the amendments themselves on the parliament website Under the bill here.

What the government did was to delay the 10 minute rule bill by having a division in which there were delays lobby. See hansard

Then Labour MPs were introduced to the debate and the first string took 3 hours. Because the division was not on the leading amendment then that division would be taken after the knife (guillotine) at 6pm. The second string took 1 hour including extra speakers (longer than needed) and the minister stopped about 30 seconds before the knife. This guaranteed that the third string would not start and hence there would be no division on NC8. There was a division on NC7 at the end of the second string because it was the lead amendment.

At least I have to be positive that the government didn't want to face a vote on the New Clause. Perhaps they will divvy up on their commitment for reform now.

The good news, however, is that both Conservatives and Lib Dems were officially backing the new clause.
 
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