If it's 6 o'clock I must be in committee…

Lord Norton


The Committee stage of the Political Parties and Elections Bill began yesterday and continued today.  As I already had a fairly full diary for both days, it has been a case of rushing in and out of committee and from meeting to meeting.

Yesterday’s schedule was basically: in early to complete a memorandum to the Information Committee for its inquiry into Parliament and People (I am giving oral evidence next week); morning spent in the Constitution Committee, where we took evidence from Baroness Royall, the Leader of the Lords, and Chris Bryant, Deputy Leader of the Commons, as part of our inquiry into emergency legislation (a very useful session); meeting of the Association of Conservative Peers; into the Moses Room for the start of Committee stage of the Political Parties and Elections Bill; leave to attend Sub-Committee E of the EU Committee – we get through various scrutiny items; go straight from that to a meeting of the executive committee of the History of Parliament Trust; we finish in time for me to get back to Committee on the Bill to move the first of the amendments I had tabled – I get support from fellow Conservative peers and from Lord Tyler on the Liberal Democrat benches (the minister resists the amendment, so I shall come back to it on Report); as soon as the debate finishes, I have to rush to chair the weekly seminar of my students on placement at Westminster; afterwards, various students stay behind to discuss academic work.

This could be a quiz question, but what’s wrong with the picture? Well, it shows me speaking in the chamber. However, that was one place I was not yesterday.  None of yesterday’s activity will be recorded on TheyWorkForYou.com.  (Though Grand Committee proceedings are recorded in Hansard, they are not captured by the website software.)  I did make it into the chamber this evening, where there was a vote on an amendment to a Private Member’s Bill, but otherwise today was also spent in meetings and in Committee on the Bill.

Now that I am out of Committee, I can resume blogging, not least  on some of the events in Committee.  Watch this space…


2 comments for “If it's 6 o'clock I must be in committee…

  1. 01/05/2009 at 8:02 pm

    I’d love for TheyWorkForYou to cover Grand Committees. TheyWorkForYou is run by a tiny charity with limited resources; but all the source code for the parser is open source, so perhaps someone could volunteer to write the relevant code? 🙂

  2. lordnorton
    07/05/2009 at 3:33 pm

    Matthew: Thanks for the comment. I concur with what you write. The more activity, especially contributions in Grand Committee (which are included in Hansard), that can be captured, the better able people will be able to see the work that goes on.

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