Whips fit Bill at cracking rate

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Indy Politics
Government whips are hailing their success in getting an unprecedented number of backbench bills through the Commons ahead of time, because of the general election.

Eight bills are well on their way to becoming law, and a fistful of others are in the committee stage. They include the Telecommunications Fraud Bill, by Ian Bruce, Tory MP for Dorset South, making supply and possession of mobile-phone cloning equipment a crime; and the UN Personnel Bill, by John Marshall, Tory MP for Hendon South, which enables the UK to ratify a UN convention to protect non-combatants attached to peace missions.

The whips say one reason for the swift advance of the backbench bills is Labour's reluctance to oppose the measures in the run-up to the election, but that is disputed by Labour.

Many Bills are from the Home Office, including the Confiscation of Alcohol Bill, by Robert Spink, Tory MP for Castle Point, to allow police to tackle under-age drinking in the street.

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