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Wednesday, 5 April, 2000, 09:37 GMT 10:37 UK
MPs demand better working conditions
Parliament
Commons sittings sometimes go on all night
MPs are meeting to consider working hours in the House of Commons amid complaints over the long and unpredictable hours.

The Commons Modernisation Committee is holding a private meeting after 114 MPs - most of them Labour - called for changes.
house of commons chamber
Some women MPs are said to be ready to quit the Commons
They want to see set times for votes and regular hours for sessions of the Commons.

Six women MPs are reported to have decided to stand down at the next election because of their frustration that reforms in working hours have not been introduced.

They are said to be disillusioned by late night votes and a lack of progress on bringing in childcare facilities.

Commons sessions often end late in the evening and sometimes run through the night, while there is no set time for voting.

Some changes have been introduced in recent years, with fewer evening sessions.

Now MPs want to see the experimental 11.30am start on Thursdays replacing the 2.30pm start on other days.

Most MPs planning to stand down over working hours are remaining anonymous, but one, Judith Church, who represents Dagenham, has said she wants to spend more time with her young sons.

The calls for change are being led by Anne Campbell, Labour MP for Cambridge, who says she has been inundated with support.

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