Parliamentary anoraks may well be a bit excited, after a Liberal Democrat Bill was successfully given its first First Reading yesterday afternoon. Susan Kramer rose at 4.31 p.m. to speak, moving a Motion for leave to introduce a Bill under Standing Order No.23. So far, so dull. Such speeches tend to have the success rate of the Charge of the Light Brigade.
However, this one, seeking to amend the Planning Act 2008 to require parliamentary approval for proposals for the building of new major airports and additional runways at existing major airports; and for connected purposes, was the subject of an ambush. A brief speech in opposition by David Wilshire, the Conservative MP for Spelthorne, a vote called and, by a margin of 247 to 203, victory was gained.
Here is Susan's speech, and we can look forward to another uncomfortable moment for the Government on 20 March at Second Reading. I suspect that they will do everything they can to remove this obstacle, but with a number of Labour MP's supporting it, they may not find it as easy as they would like.
Congratulations to our Parliamentary Party in the Commons, and hopefully voters in Richmond Park will know who to thank in due course...