Beckett reforms to end votes at 10pm

Click to follow

Members of Parliament who tiptoe back to bed with the milk deliveries will no longer be able to tell their partners: "Sorry, darling - we had a late-night vote at the House."

Members of Parliament who tiptoe back to bed with the milk deliveries will no longer be able to tell their partners: "Sorry, darling - we had a late-night vote at the House."

Under reforms quietly tabled last week by Margaret Beckett, the Leader of the Commons, the House will be asked to do away with all votes on legislation after 10pm.

It is one of the measures to make the Commons more family-friendly for MPs.

The Social Security Secretary, Alistair Darling, was the latest to complain that the long hours at Westminster were making life difficult for his family.

Mrs Beckett has quietly tabled reforms which could end the practice of late-night votes from the start of the next session of Parliament in December.

MPs will be able to continue debating late at night, but the new rules will bring an end to votes on Government bills at 10pm.

Any remaining votes on legislation will be held during morning sittings.

The reforms could bring about one of the biggest changes to the way of life of the Commons in living memory.

Mrs Beckett is also proposing that all Government bills should have a proper timetable.

The Tories are expected to complain that the Government is throwing away the chance to delay legislation, which is one of the main weapons for the opposition to keep a check on the executive.

Some Labour MPs wanted to go further by introducing electronic voting. But few MPs are expected to vote against the chance to get an early night in future.

Comments