Tory MPs waffle for four hours so bill to stop disintegration of NHS can't be heard

Earlier in the week, Caroline Lucas told the Independent of her excitement at the prospect of MPs voting for her NHS Reinstatement Bill.

The anti-privatisation legislation would, in the Green Party MP's words:

Reverse the creeping marketisation of the health service and reinstate the NHS based on its founding principles, putting the public back at the heart of the health service.

Well it would have done, if it weren't for a two-clause private members bill tabled by Conversative MPs who talked from 9.35am until 2.13pm, effectively reducing the time for Lucas' bill to 15 mins.

A classic filibuster.

Philip Hollobone, Conservative MP for Kettering, spoke for 1 hour 22 minutes

Picture: Getty

During which time he revealed his intended name for the bill they were debating:

Nice.

Philip Davies, Conservative MP for Shipley, spoke for 51 minutes

Picture: Getty

David Nuttall, Conservative MP for Bury North, spoke for 40 minutes

Sir Edward Leigh, Conservative MP for Gainsborough, spoke for 36 minutes

If you were looking for Caroline Lucas' bill in the indexed hansard, here's how long it takes to scroll through the Foreign National Offenders (Exclusion From The UK) Bill.

Remember, each name is just for an incident of a person speaking - which can last as long as until they are interrupted.

And that's only to Lucas' interruption at 1pm, asking them to get on with it, in which she said:

Thank you very much Madam Deputy Speaker. Is it within your power that you suggest to the opposite benches that they do begin to bring their comments to a close?

They have now been debating for three and a half hours on a two clause bill, a bill that was debated last year and then was withdrawn from the floor of the house.

I think it does bring this house into disrepute, there are so many people who absoutely want us to get onto the next business, the NHS, it is incredibly important, and I do think for them to be talking for so long simply isn't courteous, either to the rest of this house or to the people outside this building who want to see what's going on.

Lucas has since issued a statement via Twitter expressing her disappointment both at members opposite and at the lack of support from Labour, whose mass presence could have helped close the filibuster.

You can see the full hansard at parliament.uk and read the extensive debate on the Foreign National Offenders (Exclusion From the UK) Bill.

The House of Commons' procedure committee is currently carrying out an inquiry into proceedings for Private Members’ Bills.

Democracy at work, eh.

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