Yesterday Christopher Chope MP (aka The Chope) along with a small group of co-conspirators managed to talk the Daylight Saving Bill out of parliament.We know that this is not the first time he has done it either. It is just the latest illustration of how our outdated Private Members Bill system is not fit for purpose. It is fundamentally undemocratic that a Bill can scuppered by just a handful of MPs. Any MP who has ever been involved in this should be deeply ashamed. It only adds weight however to Caroline Lucas MPs call for modernising parliamentary procedure.
Daniel Vockins, the campaign manager for the Lighter Later campaign, summed up the nature of the problem when he commented, “Today’s result is yet another damning indictment of our broken private member’s bill system. Even with over 120 MPs staying in Westminster to vote in favour of the bill today, the support of 90 national organisations, the UK government, and strong public opinion polls, it’s not possible to get a bill passed a couple of MPs determined to talk it out of receiving a proper vote.”
It is an outrage that our supposedly democratic system can have such a failure built into it. Not only are we left with the lighter later campaign de-railed but we are left with a parliament operating in the dark ages. We need reform.