The Second Reading debate on the Equality Bill took place in the House yesterday. It is a large and complex Bill, with some contentious provisions. As a result, it was a long debate with more than forty speakers. The debate lasted until almost 11.00 p.m. There were many serious points raised. However, there was the occasional light moment, as for example during the speech of Baroness Morris of Bolton, in winding up for the Opposition:
“Baroness Morris of Bolton: ….. In an amusing section of her speech, the noble Baroness, Lady Royall, told us exactly what the Bill was not about. I, too, should like to address a concern that was expressed to me and illustrates a point. This Bill will not require “Top Gear” to have a woman presenter or “Loose Women” to have a man. The appeal of these programmes is not restricted wholly to men or women, even though their formats are based primarily on assumptions of differing interests. Should we be legislating for their presenting teams to be evenly balanced? Would we want to see Jeremy Clarkson swapping relationship advice with Coleen Nolan, while Lynda Bellingham demolished a caravan with James May?
Noble Lords: Yes! Yes!”