Sir: We would indeed need to be concerned that MPs are being encouraged to disguise their views to get on standing committees were they the powerful bodies that "amend proposed legislation" claimed in your front page-article "Secrets of the MPs who help lobbyists" (3 October). This is not the case, however.
A rather topical example is the bill to privatise the electric utilities that was debated in the 1980s. It received 110 hours of consideration by the respective standing committee, yet no amendments moved by the Government were rejected, and only one minor amendment moved by a backbench MP was agreed to, the MP in question being Conservative; none of the 227 amendments moved by the Opposition were accepted. (A. Adonis, Parliament Today 1990, MUP).
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