The night wears on…

We are in for a long haul.  When debate on the second group of amendments dragged on – with peers speaking at length, digressing and explaining at length why they were not filibustering – a peer moved the motion ‘That the question be now put’.  Such a closure motion is used only in exceptional circumstances.  Indeed, it is so exceptional that the occupant of the chair is required to read out – and to do so slowly – a statement making clear that it is exceptional.   The motion is not debatable and if carried the question on the amendment before the House must then be put.  The closure motion was carried by 219 votes to 130 and the amendment then defeated by 131 votes to 211.

Immediately this had happened, Lord Falconer of Thoroton then moved, from the Opposition front bench, that the House do resume.  This is a prerequisite to the House adjourning.  This was defeated by 188 votes to 124.    The House then settled down a bit – these things are relative – and moved to the next set of amendments.  We are thus in the third grouping – out of 64 – and it is now nearly 1.00 a.m.  

I shall soon be ready for another pot of tea.  The Bishop’s Bar is staying open until 7.00  a.m. or thirty minutes after the House rises, whichever is the earlier – I think I know which it will be.

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About Lord Norton

Professor of Government at Hull University, and Member of the House of Lords
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7 Responses to The night wears on…

  1. franksummers3ba says:

    Lord Norton,
    If it is in any way relevant you did make my list which has kept me up late for a number of nights in recent weeks: http://franksummers3ba.wordpress.com/2011/01/17/four-people-to-watch-in-the-second-post-911-decade/
    You made it in an earlier installment which is linked through this one.

  2. what time do you get that cup of tea in the end?

  3. Carl.H says:

    Board games, talks and other treats for all night Lords

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-12212666

    I bet some are secretly enjoying it all.

  4. ladytizzy says:

    Thank you for this post, Lord Norton, and the explanation of what the heck happened!

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