I had to be in the House on Monday for the second day in committee on the Fixed-term Parliaments Bill. Because of an agreement between the parties, the first day had finished relatively early and the sitting on Monday was scheduled to be a late-evening one. Given that, I knew I would not be able to get back to Hull that evening, even if I left the car at Doncaster and caught a late train from King’s Cross. The problem was that I had classes to teach on Tuesday morning.
I moved some amendments as well as spoke to others. When I rose to speak on an amendment shortly after 11.30 p.m. I opened by saying “My Lords, I plan to be extremely brief, as I have classes to teach in Hull shortly after 9 o’clock in the morning.” The minister followed me, saying that he appreciated the lateness of the hour and that the points raised in the discussion – although he addressed some of them – were matters that we would be coming back to later in our deliberations on the Bill. The mover of the amendment took one sentence to withdraw it. The House then adjourned.
I was a little concerned in case I had helped encourage the decision to bring proceedings to a close at that point. I was quite content to move on to deal with the next few amendments, including another two of my own. As a result, they will taken early on the third day in committee – necessitating a furthe rearrangement of my teaching schedule in order to be there!
I should add that, being the Lords, some peers were concerned to know how I was going to get back to Hull to teach the classes. I explained that there was a very early train from King’s Cross…