Sometimes things don’t go your way. Today was one of those days.
About an hour ago the Daylight Saving Bill failed to pass its Third Reading in the House of Commons.
The problem wasn’t a lack of support. Even with over 120 supportive MPs in the Commons, the support of 90 national organisations, the UK government and strong public opinion polls, a couple of hostile MPs were able to run down the clock with a series of ‘wrecking amendments’ designed to waste time, so the bill never even went to a vote. The tricks they use to hold up the process – from quoting the bible to hiding in the Commons lobby – are an affront to the democratic process.
Today’s result illustrates everything that’s wrong with the Private Member’s Bill system.
We’re really angry about this, and many MPs feel the same way (see below for a few choice reactions). More than 120 of them have given up a day of of constituency meetings to be in Westminster and support the bill. We fell foul of a broken system that’s crying out for reform, so our first job is to see if there’s another way to make this happen.
There are a few options on the table, from persuading the government to take up the legislation itself, to lobbying for more parliamentary time. But for now, I’d just like to say a massive thank you for all your hard work: lobbying your MP, donating to the campaign or just arguing for lighter evenings at the pub or around the dinner table.
Together we’ve moved the clock change debate further forward than it’s been for decades, and shown how a whole new approach to campaigning can work. We’ve built something pretty special over the last couple of years, and I can’t wait to see where it goes next.
Campaign manager, Lighter Later
Given strong x party support the Govt should now find time for the #daylightsavingsbill after it was talked out by handfull of wrecking MPs
— Ben Bradshaw (@BenPBradshaw) January 20, 2012
Commons held hostage by Chope, Davies & SNP to prevent Daylight Saving bill passing. Friday sittings need reforming, they’re a waste of time
— Lord Slate (@LordSlate) January 20, 2012
10 MPs have managed to block the daylight saving bill by talking it out & wastIng time going through Division lobbies. #DaylightSavingsBill
— Adrian Sanders (@adriansandersmp) January 20, 2012
— Cllr Alex Bigham (@alexbigham) January 20, 2012