BUSINESS QUESTION – ARMED FORCES BILL – 1 December 2005

Dr Julian Lewis: Can the Deputy Leader of the House explain to us why the Armed Forces Bill, which has been long years in the making, has been shoehorned into the parliamentary timetable at a time when no one can possibly prepare properly for Second Reading, whereas the debate on Police Restructuring, for which everyone is ready, prepared and raring to go, has been withdrawn from the parliamentary timetable? Is it not blindingly obvious that the former should be delayed and the latter reinstated?

[The Deputy Leader of the House of Commons (Nigel Griffiths): No, it is not. The Armed Forces Bill is an important piece of legislation that has to be properly timetabled in this House and the other place, and clearly the suitable time for debating it is in eight or nine days' time. As I said, I hope that the fullest possible information on the Bill is available. I know that the hon. Member, like other hon. Members, will not come cold to this subject.]