BUSINESS QUESTION – LIB DEMS' FAILURE TO VOTE – 3 March 2005
Dr Julian Lewis: Last week the Leader of the House (Peter Hain), typically generously, responded warmly to my suggestion that we might have a debate on performance-related pay for politicians – that is, cuts in what they get paid when they do not do their job properly. On that occasion, I had in mind his right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster; but today I have in mind the Liberal Democrats. Given that they have been pontificating about the anti-terrorism legislation up and down the country, does the Leader of the House agree that whichever view one takes on that legislation, for the Government to have saved it by 14 votes, and for 17 Liberal Democrats, including their leader, not even to have turned up to vote – one third of their parliamentary strength – is absolutely disgraceful?