It is just coming up to 11.00 p.m. on Monday. The House is still debating the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill. There were 55 peers on the speakers’ list. However, the start of the debate was delayed by a motion by Lord Falconer of Thoroton to refer the Bill to the examiners on the grounds it may be hybrid. We debated and rejected the motion. There were then two statements. As a result, the Second Reading debate did not get under way until 6.30. If we had continued until everyone had spoken, we would probably still be here at 4.00 or 5.00 a.m.! As a result, it was agreed to have the first 38 speakers and then adjourn the debate until tomorrow, when it will resume after a debate on the interim report of the committee set up to consider reducing the size of the House.
I am down to speak shortly before the end of tonight’s debate. I estimate I may be on my feet about half-past-midnight. Not much chance of getting a good night’s sleep, not least because I have to catch a train shortly after 6.30 a.m. to get back to Hull, and will then return to Westminster in afternoon for the rest of the debate, as well as chair the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Constitution.
As I was getting a quick bite in the Bishop’s Bar, Baroness Kennedy told me that if the House were to be elected, my electors would doubtless be impressed by my willingness to go to such lengths. I pointed out that if I were elected, I wouldn’t expect to have two jobs!