Labour MPs reject protests on hours

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Indy Politics

Labour MPs were last night determined to press ahead with the introduction of family-friendly hours in the Commons despite fierce protests by the Tories.

Labour MPs were last night determined to press ahead with the introduction of family-friendly hours in the Commons despite fierce protests by the Tories.

Backbenchers, many of them women, were determined to change parliamentary working hours and support a range of reforms which will end late-night sittings. However, the Tories were furious about the changes, claiming that they undermined Parliament and its role in scrutinising the executive.

The proposals put forward by the Modernisation Committee will mean that all debates are timetabled, allowing MPs to go home at 10pm every night and to register their vote the next day. After the 10pm watershed, MPs can debate secondary legislation until any time in the early hours, but such debates will end without a vote. MPs can return the next day to write their vote into a ledger, with the result being held over until the following Wednesday.

Leading protests from furious Tory benches, Eric Forth, MP for Bromley and Chislehurst, claimed the "radical and fundamental" changes proposed would "end the traditional role of the House of Commons".

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