Labour to resume 'pairing'

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Indy Politics
THE four-month campaign of parliamentary non-cooperation waged by Labour was abruptly dropped last night, to the relief of MPs desperate for a resumption of the 'pairing' arrangements that make Commons life tolerable, writes Patricia Wynn Davies.

The ceasefire was the more noteworthy for the rare high praise heaped upon Don Dixon, Labour's Deputy Chief Whip, at last night's shadow Cabinet meeting for a bruising performance in negotiations with the Government Whips' Office.

The war of attrition began after the Government forced two controversial Bills through all their Commons stages in one day.

Government Whips have apologised for the action on the Bills, conceded that too many ministerial statements are scheduled on Opposition days and agreed to contemplate more Labour chairmanships of select committees.

In return, Labour is considering implementing the Jopling report on shortening Commons' hours.