Row reopens over Bill on disabled

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LABOUR MPs called last night for the resignation of Nicholas Scott, the social security minister, after claiming he deliberately misled the House of Commons over government tactics to wreck a backbench Bill to stop discrimination against disabled people, writes Patricia Wynn Davies.

The row over the effective killing of the Civil Rights (Disabled Persons) Bill re-erupted yesterday as Dale Campbell-Savours, Labour MP for Workington, complained to Betty Boothroyd, the Speaker, that Parliamentary Counsel had drafted a host of amendments, tabled by backbench Tories, causing the measure, which had cross-party backing, to run out of time on Friday.

Mr Scott, the minister for disabled people, told MPs on Friday that 'no part whatever in the drafting of any amendments and, to the best of my knowledge, nobody in my department has been involved in the drafting of any amendments in the area'.

But yesterday, a letter from Mr Scott, passed to Mr Campbell- Savours as he rose to speak, admitted that he had authorised officials to approach Parliamentary Counsel.