Minor and consequential amendments

Parliamentary Constituencies Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 10:30 am ar 30 Mehefin 2020.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Maria Miller Maria Miller Ceidwadwyr, Basingstoke 10:30, 30 Mehefin 2020

I beg to move amendment 14 in the schedule, page 7, line 16, leave out “for “596” substitute “646”” and insert “leave out “596” and insert “645””.

Photo of Ian Paisley Jnr Ian Paisley Jnr Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Culture, Media and Sport)

With this it will be convenient to discuss the following:

Amendment 11 in the schedule, page 7, line 17, leave out “646” and insert “645”.

This amendment is consequential to NC6, which would add an additional protected constituency.

New clause 6—Ynys Môn to be a Protected Constituency—

After Rule 6(2)(b) of Schedule 2 to the 1986 Act (protected constituencies) insert—

“a constituency named Ynys Môn, comprising the County of the Isle of Anglesey.”

This new clause adds Ynys Môn to the four protected constituencies

New clause 10—Protected constituencies—

(1) Schedule 2 to the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986 is amended as follows.

(2) In rule 6(2), after paragraph (b) insert “;

(c) a constituency named Ynys Môn, comprising the area of the Isle of Anglesey County Council”.

(3) In rule 8(5)—

(a) in paragraph (b), for “6(2)” substitute “6(2)(a) and (b)”, and

(b) after paragraph (b) insert “;

(c) the electorate of Wales shall be treated for the purposes of this rule as reduced by the electorate of the constituency mentioned in rule (6)(2)(c)”.

(4) In rule 9(7)—

(a) after “6” insert “(2)(a) or (b)”, and

(b) after “2011” insert “, and the reference in rule 6(2)(c) to the area of the Isle of Anglesey County Council is to the area as it existed on the coming into force of the Schedule to the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 2020.”

This new clause adds the parliamentary constituency of Ynys Môn to the list of protected constituencies in the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986 and makes other consequential changes to that Act.

Photo of Maria Miller Maria Miller Ceidwadwyr, Basingstoke

These amendments and new clauses would effectively create an additional protected constituency of Ynys Môn comprising the area of the Isle of Anglesey County Council. The new clauses seek to amend schedule 2 to the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986, specifically the rules for the distribution of seats, resulting in Ynys Môn being included as a protected seat in rule 6. Consequential and necessary changes to rule 8 and rule 9 of the same schedule are needed to bring that fully into effect. Amendment 14 is a consequential amendment looking at the total number of constituencies.

There is an acknowledged principle in the 1986 Act that in our great British Isles, a collection of islands under our sovereign, Her Majesty, there are instances where the parliamentary constituency system needs to acknowledge challenges and limitations of building a constituency boundary system that adequately recognises island-based communities. Existing legislation does do that for two seats in England, neighbouring my own county in Hampshire, and for two seats in Scotland, but for none in Wales.

At this point I declare an interest. Although I was born in England and represent an English constituency, I was brought up in Bridgend, Wales. My maiden name is Lewis. My two brothers were born in Bridgend Hospital and my two nieces, Isabella and Olivia, attend a bilingual Church in Wales school in Llangattock. Yes, when England plays Wales in rugby, I support Wales. I am aware of the Welsh identity and the powerful role that communities play in Welsh life. When parliamentary boundaries were last debated, the move to 600 seats made it difficult to secure protection for the constituency of Ynys Môn. Given the return to 650 seats, I will attempt to turn the Minister’s head in the hope that she might be persuaded by arguments of both the head and the heart.

The people of Ynys Môn are rightly proud of their island and its unique history. While the boundaries of most other counties might be considered somewhat arbitrary—although not in Yorkshire and Lancashire, as we have heard—the boundary between Ynys Môn and the mainland is physical, perhaps indivisible and immovable.

Photo of John Spellar John Spellar Llafur, Warley

There is something I fail to understand in this argument. Is Ynys Môn not connected by a bridge that was built around 100 years ago and is readily used all the time? How is it different from any other bridge in this country over rivers? The Isle of Wight argument was pretty thin, because the ferry is quite effective. Here you have a well-established bridge.

Photo of Maria Miller Maria Miller Ceidwadwyr, Basingstoke

The right hon. Gentleman brings me straight on to my next point. It is as if he was reading my notes in advance—I am sure he was not. The Menai strait may be narrow enough to travel over by bridge, unlike travelling to the Isle of Wight, which he will be well aware is not connected by any bridges. However, the bridges were built very recently, and the people of Ynys Môn continue to have a strong sense of independence—born from many centuries of separation from the mainland—and have not changed. There are countless examples of Ynys Môn’s deeply held identity as an island community both physically and sometimes constitutionally annexed to the mainland. The island is environmentally and economically distinct from the mainland, being flat and fertile, with its rugged coastline and deep harbours standing in stark contrast to the mountains of Snowdonia.

The hon. Member for Ceredigion will, I am sure, tell me that my pronunciation is not good, but the area is known as Môn mam Cymru—Anglesey, mother of Wales. That is rooted in its history. Countless windmills still stand on the island as testament to the fact that it kept north Wales fed during the middle ages.

Photo of John Spellar John Spellar Llafur, Warley

The right hon. Lady’s definition of “recent” must slightly differ from mine. The Menai suspension bridge was built in 1826, at just about the time we were getting any sort of franchise and about 100 years before we had universal franchise. This is a pretty thin argument, is it not?

Photo of Maria Miller Maria Miller Ceidwadwyr, Basingstoke

I am sure the people of Ynys Môn will listen carefully to interventions made by Labour Members, which I am not sure necessarily reflect the arguments made over many years by others who have looked at this very carefully. The right hon. Member has a point that can be made, but this is not just a river or arbitrary boundary. This is a significantly sized island, which I think is actually almost double the size of the Isle of Wight. It is significantly larger than the Isle of Wight, so I think a bridge, however long it has been there, does not take away from its sense of identity. Indeed, there is clear and direct precedent for Ynys Môn to be treated as an exception. I hope, more generally, that the Labour party will support this proposal. Certainly, the evidence given to the Select Committee suggested that there was cross-party support. I am sure that the right hon. Gentleman is just making a little bit of mischief along the way.

There is clear precedent. The Isle of Wight’s two seats make an electorate of more than 110,000, Orkney and Shetland has an electorate of 23,000, and the Western Isles has an electorate of 15,000, so this is not about the number of people on an island but about the islands themselves, because they are geographically separate, with fractured populations. They have a tradition and identity that tend to override those numerical imbalances, which has rightly been recognised by this place over many years.

Ynys Môn possesses all the same exceptional qualities geographically, but also in its heritage. With an electorate of more than 50,000 registered voters, it is a sizeable community, as well as geographically sizeable. No other constituency I am aware of, or that Members have brought up so far in our consideration of the Bill, is in a similar situation to Ynys Môn. Its nearest comparators have all been granted protected status. While I know and understand the arguments made by some in Cornwall, I hope the boundary commission heeded the issues raised by Devonwall. That is a very different issue from those faced by island communities, and I do not think that the two arguments should merge.

We heard no dissent in our evidence sessions when the notion of protected status was put forward. As an island nation, UK citizens do not need to be told about the unique identity that results from living on an island. Recognising a plurality of identities is part and parcel of the geography of our British Isles and needs to apply to the Welsh island of Ynys Môn. There is a strong depth of feeling on Ynys Môn that the island should have this recognition. In our evidence session, Dr Larner, who is a research associate at the Wales Governance Centre at Cardiff University, was very clear:

“Obviously, Ynys Môn is not as isolated geographically as some of the Scottish constituencies, but, when you consider that the Isle of Wight is involved in these protections, it is reasonable to suggest that Ynys Môn should be too.”––[Official Report, Parliamentary Constituencies Public Bill Committee, 18 June 2020; c. 131, Q251.]

I have to say that my hon. Friend Virginia Crosbie put it best when she said: “Ynys Môn is unique. It is very special. The people have a strong sense of identity and community, unlike any I have experienced on mainland Britain. The countryside is rich and fertile, the coastline rugged and rural, and there is a very real sense of being an island standing alone from the mainland, despite the connected bridges. There is a commitment to protecting and promoting local business, the Welsh language and the culture and traditions of Ynys Môn. This is an island community that deserves to be recognised and protected.”

Photo of Ben Lake Ben Lake Plaid Cymru, Ceredigion 10:45, 30 Mehefin 2020

Diolch yn fawr, Mr Paisley. It is a pleasure to follow Mrs Miller. I echo a lot of the points that she made in support of the principle of ensuring that Ynys Môn is retained as a unique and integral part of Welsh political history, and indeed the UK’s political history. Some of the points that I will make support her arguments.

There is a bit of consensus in the Committee on the fundamental argument about whether Ynys Môn deserves to be its own constituency, but it is fair to point out that we have received a few pieces of written evidence questioning, and raising some valid points about, whether Ynys Môn is enough of an island and deserves to be one of the protected constituencies, along with the Western Isles, for example. Some of the points in the most recent piece of written evidence—forgive me, Mr Paisley, but I have forgotten the name of the individual who submitted it. [Interruption.] Mr Aaron Fear, that’s it! Mr Fear made the valid point that, whereas the remoteness of the Western Isles makes its own argument for that constituency, the proximity of Ynys Môn to the mainland means that it should not benefit from similar consideration.

We have had the opportunity in this Committee to look back at history, and we have covered many historical events. On the point about Ynys Môn being close to the mainland, the hon. Member for Ynys Môn (Virginia Crosbie) will attest to the fact that the Menai strait is a significant natural barrier—just ask the Romans, who had an issue with it. It is one of the most treacherous stretches of water, certainly along the British Isles. Despite the transport links that modernity has bestowed upon the island, when we come to the point about Ynys Môn having its own distinct community, we probably find ourselves in a similar position to the Romans looking across the Menai to the druids. The people of Ynys Môn consider themselves to be a very distinct community from that of the mainland, and that is something that we should bear in mind.

I do not have much more to add to the points that were very well made by the right hon. Member for Basingstoke. I will summarise as follows: when we consider whether islands should have protected status, it is valid to ask whether they are big enough geographically and in terms of population, whether they are remote enough, and whether they have a distinct sense of community. I have dealt with the remoteness issue. Yes, at the narrowest width, the Menai is only a couple of hundred metres, but the community of Ynys Môn is so distinct from that of the mainland that it deserves recognition.

When it comes to the island’s size, perhaps it is not so big in global rankings, but it is more than 700 sq km. The right hon. Lady mentioned a few islands. It is only 5 sq km smaller than the island of Singapore, to put it in context. It is the 51st largest island in Europe, if Madeira is considered to be a European island; it is the 50th if it is not. In terms of geographical size, it has a sound argument and pretty good credentials. The resident population is about 70,000, which again is not insignificant. If we consider some of the geographical areas on the mainland, it is quite a sizeable unit.  Administratively speaking, it is the ninth largest local authority in Wales by population. Again, that speaks to why it should be considered its own entity.

I mention community again at this point. If the local authority point is not enough then it should be considered that Ynys Môn fielded a team for the Island games, competing with islands across the world in different sporting events. The team is proud to represent their island, not some sort of appendage to north-west Wales. To encapsulate everything, the point made by Mr Geraint Day during the first day of the evidence sessions is a humorous but important one. History is on the side of Ynys Môn being a distinct constituency too. Since the 16th-century Acts of Union, Ynys Môn has always sent its own Member of Parliament to London, and indeed—apart from the Barebones Parliament—has always had representation in this place.

Photo of Maria Miller Maria Miller Ceidwadwyr, Basingstoke

I point out that my hon. Friend the Member for Ynys Môn is with us today, although unable to take part in proceedings because of her role in the Government.

Photo of Ben Lake Ben Lake Plaid Cymru, Ceredigion

I referred to the hon. Member for Ynys Môn earlier on, and I am confident that she would agree with us if she were able to contribute. Ynys Môn has had continuous representation in this place, apart from the notable exception of the Barebones Parliament. Further to the points that have been made, if one needs to think about how Ynys Môn is considered within Wales, Môn man Cymru is probably the best way of putting it, as the right hon. Member for Basingstoke said. In her remarks on an earlier amendment, the Minister mentioned that the Boundary Commission for Wales agreed to the Welsh language convention of place names that run north to south and west to east. If that logic is applied, Wales starts in the north-west. What is the north-west? It is Ynys Môn. I do not have anything further to add. If the hon. Lady wishes to push the amendment to a vote I will support her.

Photo of Chris Matheson Chris Matheson Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

It is a pleasure to take part in the debate. I think an amendment that I have tabled is similar in effect to those tabled by Conservative Members. Anglesey, which I knew as a child, is a great place. I remember we used to go there on holiday every year, staying at Red Wharf Bay at Benllech and visiting Llangefni market and Llanfair PG. I will not go any further than that. We still go there, and not so long ago I visited Newborough Warren. It is a wonderful place, and is a fantastic place to visit. The hon. Member for Ceredigion talked about the history of the Romans and the druids, and I was aware of that. He might want to correct me, but I think I am right that eventually the Romans got round their problem by fording the Menai strait at low spring tide, resolving their difficulties with the druids in, unfortunately, the fashion in which Romans resolved such problems.

Photo of Chloe Smith Chloe Smith Assistant Whip, Minister of State (Cabinet Office)

Will the hon. Gentleman explain what the Romans ever did for the druids?

Photo of Chris Matheson Chris Matheson Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

I am sure, Mr Paisley, that you would not want me to start listing aqueducts, currency, safety in the streets, law and order and so on. The Opposition have tabled a similar amendment—I am not sure of the procedural mechanism for resolving the fact that there is more than one amendment on the same issue. I will take guidance from you on that, Mr Paisley.

I make two points in relation to the debate. First, I ask Committee members to bear in mind the knock-on effect on the rest of the Wales, if and when they agree the amendment. We will be discussing that matter later. Right hon. Members have made good, sound arguments as to why we should accept the amendment. However, that has an effect on the rest of Wales, and I ask hon. Members to park that.

Secondly—I have to make this point, unfortunately, from a political point of view—never since St Paul took a trip to Damascus has such a great conversion been seen as that of Conservative Members deciding that perhaps Ynys Môn does need to be a protected constituency. Other parties, our own included, have called for that change in several reviews. Something has obviously changed, if Conservatives are all of a sudden in favour of the proposal. I invite members of the Committee to decide, in their own time, what circumstances have changed such that the Conservatives are, all of a sudden, in favour of it. Let us be clear: we have called for it in several reviews. We are, therefore, pleased that Government Members have seen the light, whatever the motivation that drove them to that point.

May I be indulged briefly, Mr Paisley, to pay tribute to the former Member for Ynys Môn, my good friend Albert Owen, who like you was a member of the Panel of Chairs? I miss him greatly as a person and as a mentor and adviser, but I know he still maintains a full role.

Photo of Chris Clarkson Chris Clarkson Ceidwadwyr, Heywood and Middleton

As a Romanophile, I thank the hon. Member for Deva Victrix. I very much enjoyed the talk of Rome. On the political considerations, Ynys Môn is one of only two constituencies in the United Kingdom to have been represented by all three major parties and the local nationalist party, so the hon. Gentleman’s argument does not stand. Talking about north Wales, possibly combining Ynys Môn with Bangor would be particularly unfair to some mainland parts of Wales, which have distinct identities. I support the amendment: Ynys Môn is a distinct part of Wales, with a unique culture and identity, and has a perfect case to be a protected constituency.

Photo of Chris Matheson Chris Matheson Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

I thank the hon. Gentleman for his intervention. In fact, my argument stands because only now has the Conservative party changed its opinion—again, I leave him to come up with the reason why.

Photo of Ben Lake Ben Lake Plaid Cymru, Ceredigion

I echo the hon. Gentleman’s sentiments and words about the former Member for Ynys Môn, Albert Owen. I do not think we could find a more doughty champion for the island than Mr Owen.

Photo of Chris Matheson Chris Matheson Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

I am most grateful. I am sure that Albert will be following this debate and will be most grateful as well.

We support the amendment and welcome the conversion of Government Members. We will work with them to see this through. We await the Minister’s response.

Photo of Ian Paisley Jnr Ian Paisley Jnr Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Culture, Media and Sport)

For clarity, this debate is about amendment 14, in the name of Maria Miller. I said at the commencement that it would also be convenient to consider amendment 11, new clause 6 and new clause 10. If amendment 14 is agreed to, the subsequent one, namely amendment 11, will not be called.

Photo of Cat Smith Cat Smith Shadow Minister for Young People and Voter Engagement

The grouping of amendments and new clauses on Ynys Môn gave me cause to think about the nature of island communities. I have enjoyed hearing the exchanges across the Committee Room this morning. Indeed, my father was born on an island and my mother was raised on one—the Isle of Walney, which was only connected to the mainland by a bridge in 1908 so, arguably, has a stronger case for special consideration even than Ynys Môn. The arguments about identity apply to any island community in the British Isles. For anyone born or raised on an island, that sense of community runs so deep that unless someone has lived or experienced it, it is hard to explain how that can forge identity.

Ynys Môn also has a strong Welsh identity, which we have not really touched on so far in this debate, but with a 57% prevalence of being able to speak Welsh, it has the second highest proportion of Welsh speakers by local authority in Wales. That just adds to the evidence that Anglesey is indeed a special place, which is why we believe that it should be awarded protected status. It also has the village with the longest place name in Britain —if anyone wishes to make any intervention to tell us what that is, I would be happy to give way.

Photo of Ben Lake Ben Lake Plaid Cymru, Ceredigion

I am sure that it is in Hansard somewhere, but just so it is on the record, it is Llanfairpwllgwyngyll-gogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.

Photo of Alec Shelbrooke Alec Shelbrooke Ceidwadwyr, Elmet and Rothwell

I cannot do that, but I will tell the hon. Lady who can: my hon. Friend Stuart Andrew, who was born there.

Photo of Cat Smith Cat Smith Shadow Minister for Young People and Voter Engagement 11:00, 30 Mehefin 2020

Unfortunately the hon. Member for Pudsey is not taking part in proceedings. The amendments are about recognising the fundamental and distinct identity of Ynys Môn and awarding it protected constituency status. Although the Labour party will certainly support that, it throws up a debate about the potential conflict between the idea of protecting communities and identity, and equally sized constituencies. Creating another protected constituency makes it more difficult to have equally sized constituencies right across the British Isles.

I find many of the ideas that the Committee has discussed very contradictory. On the one hand, hon. Members argue for equally sized constituencies, and on the other, they argue for more protected constituencies, which ingrain unequal size. I am very clear that we should respect community ties and acknowledge that some constituencies will be larger than others to reflect those ties, but as far as possible, we should try to have constituencies that are as equal as they can be. The amendments highlight the challenge that that throws up, in recognising that communities should be included together when it comes to parliamentary constituencies.

Photo of Chloe Smith Chloe Smith Assistant Whip, Minister of State (Cabinet Office)

I am really pleased that we have had this discussion, which, in formal terms, complements my opening remarks on clause 11 stand part.

Following on from the arguments articulated by the hon. Members for Ceredigion and for City of Chester, as well as by the shadow Minister, I can confirm that the Government will accept amendment 14, tabled by my right hon. Friend the Member for Basingstoke, and give Ynys Môn protected constituency status. I will go through the reasons for that.

I will pray in aid the hon. Member for Glasgow East, who occasionally helps me out in this respect. He was so kind to say earlier that I am a considered Minister who takes arguments on merit, which is what I am seeking to do today. That starts with reflecting on what the current legislation sets out. It sets out four protected constituencies, the boundaries of which are fixed and do not change at boundary reviews. They are all islands: Orkney and Shetland, Na h-Eileanan an Iar, and the two constituencies on the Isle of Wight. Currently, there are no protected constituencies in Wales.

During debate on the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act 2011, arguments were made that Ynys Môn should also be a protected constituency. Those arguments centred on the fact that the constituency covers a relatively large island geographically and has a sizeable electorate—and they still have merit today. Indeed, we heard witnesses and hon. Members of all stripes make the case for Ynys Môn, including Tom Adams of the Labour party, Geraint Day from Plaid Cymru and Chris Williams from the Green party, in addition to the parties represented on the Committee. Dr Larner from the Wales Governance Centre added his thoughts to the argument, too. Of course, hon. Members outside the Committee have also joined the argument via amendment 14, including Bob Seely, whose support is, I think telling.

I welcome my hon. Friend the Member for Ynys Môn, who is sitting in the Public Gallery. She has campaigned and worked very hard on this matter, on top of being a most assiduous constituency MP on other matters. If I remember rightly, her swearing in to the House was done in Welsh, which shows her commitment to the characteristics of her constituency. Since she entered the House, she has argued that local people sent her here to do just that, and I am glad that she is here to listen.

As the hon. Member for Ceredigion explained, Ynys Môn, which covers 715 sq km, is the fourth largest island in Great Britain in terms of geographical size, excluding the mainland—to be precise, that is including Holy island to the west. With an electorate of approximately 50,000, based on 2019 data, Ynys Môn is comparable to other islands that enjoy protected constituency status.

I am of course mindful that each additional exception slightly chips away at the underlying principle of equally sized constituencies—I will bring that argument into my own remarks before anyone else makes it. It is a consideration that we have to include in this decision. However, I am persuaded that the creation of Ynys Môn as a protected constituency would address an anomaly. It is the only island in the UK whose electorate and geographical area fall squarely within the range of the currently protected constituencies. It has a considerable electorate, sitting between those of the other protected constituencies: Na h-Eileanan an Iar is at one end, with an electorate of just over 21,000, and the Isle of Wight is at the other, with 111,000. The argument that Ynys Môn belongs among the protected constituencies is compelling.

Amendment 14 also responds in part to something else we have heard in this Committee, which is that Wales is likely to see a reduction in the number of its constituencies. For a variety of historical reasons, which we have discussed already and may discuss later when debating other amendments, Welsh constituencies are slightly smaller on average than most UK constituencies. Given that the next boundary review will seek to create constituencies that are equal in size, it is likely to result in fewer constituencies in Wales. It is relevant to note that the creation of an appropriate protected constituency on Ynys Môn will mean that the electorate of that island will not be included in any calculation relating to the number of constituencies in Wales.

This amendment also means that there will be at least one protected constituency in each part of Great Britain, which helps demonstrate the importance with which we regard those component parts of the Union, and that we think these are important, relevant considerations. We believe that Ynys Môn, with its sizable electorate and particular geography, would make an appropriate protected constituency to sit alongside the others. As I have already confirmed, we intend to accept amendment 14.

Photo of John Spellar John Spellar Llafur, Warley

Can we have some clarity on how the arithmetic works? Will Wales be taken as a block and allocated a number of seats, from which the protected seat would then be abstracted and its quota spread among the other seats? Alternatively, will Wales’s population be included with England’s and Scotland’s, so that all the protected seats are taken completely out of the equation and the basic figure for constituencies will be decided quite separately from the protected constituencies?

Photo of Chloe Smith Chloe Smith Assistant Whip, Minister of State (Cabinet Office)

I believe it is the former; indeed, that is what the consequential amendments in this bundle go on to do. We can complete that argument when we discuss the tolerance and the way in which the quota is arrived at.

I will now deal with the fact that a couple of amendments are grouped together, and other Members have already asked questions about the procedure. I assume it would be in order for me to indicate that I would like to accept amendment 14 and new clause 10, but not new clause 6 and its associated amendment. That is for the very good reason that consequential changes to the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986 are required to fully implement this protected constituency, and we need to ensure that those consequential changes are made by the amendments tabled by my right hon. Friend the Member for Basingstoke, not those tabled by the hon. Members for Ceredigion and for Glasgow East. That is not to say that those Members have not made good arguments today—they have—but I intend to accept the amendment tabled by my right hon. Friend the Member for Basingstoke. I hope that is in order, Mr Paisley. I think I have answered all the points raised.

Photo of Maria Miller Maria Miller Ceidwadwyr, Basingstoke

I thank the Minister and also the hon. Members for Ceredigion and for City of Chester for their kind words and support for this approach to achieve what we all want. The Minister has indicated that she will accept amendment 14 and, when we come to it, new clause 10 as well. It is my hon. Friend the Member for Ynys Môn who has campaigned for this change, this protection, and today’s debate reflects her assiduous hard work and the understanding that she has of the community that she represents.

Amendment 14 agreed to.

Photo of Ian Paisley Jnr Ian Paisley Jnr Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Culture, Media and Sport)

An historic day, colleagues! The next amendment on the paper is amendment 10, but that was debated last Thursday and David Linden indicated that he did not wish to press it to a Division. Unless Mr Linden has changed his mind, which could happen, we will move on.

Schedule, as amended, agreed to.

Photo of Eddie Hughes Eddie Hughes Assistant Whip

On a point of order, Mr Paisley. It would probably be more appropriate if we pause and continue our deliberations this afternoon. I therefore beg to move that our deliberations be now adjourned.

Ordered, That further consideration be now adjourned. —(Eddie Hughes.)

Adjourned till this day at Two o’clock.