DTI – COMMUNITY PHARMACIES – 17 June 2003

Dr Julian Lewis: Does my hon. Friend [Tim Yeo] agree that the probable reason that so many Labour MPs have signed this early-day motion is that, like me, they have had upwards of 1,000 people either writing to them individually or signing petitions expressing their grave concern about the threat to community pharmacies? The 1,000 people in my constituency came from Hythe, Brockenhurst and Totton – just three locations – and there could have been many more, had similar petitions been organised elsewhere.

[Mr Yeo: My hon. Friend's constituents are fortunate indeed in their parliamentary representative. He takes up their cause and champions it through his eloquence on the Floor of the House; he will also vote in favour of the motion tonight. We shall see, in the course of the next two hours and 10 minutes, whether the 64 Labour Members are willing to follow his fine example. I hope that they do, because, if they do, they might start to restore the integrity of the early-day motion process. If they fail to do so, however, the message will go out loud and clear that the signature of a Labour Member of Parliament on an early-day motion is not worth the paper that it is printed on.]