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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 November 2007, 16:27 GMT
MP loses sleep to make his point
Bob Russell
Mr Russell was disturbed by sniffer dogs as he tried to sleep
An MP has managed to table the first Commons motion of the new parliamentary year - by spending the night outside the office which deals with requests.

Liberal Democrat Bob Russell managed to get the subject of the Royal British legion onto the order paper, pipping Labour's Paul Flynn to the post.

It is the sixth year running that Mr Russell has tabled the first motion, which is thought to be a record.

He was twice disturbed by security sniffer dogs while in his sleeping bag.

Biscuits

Mr Russell, MP for Colchester, got through his 15-hour wait by bringing along sandwiches, biscuits and drinks.

He told the BBC: "I did sleep, sort of dozed on and off... I know that the minute I ease up someone else will ease in, so I need to bag my place."

Mr Flynn, who represents Newport West, arrived a mere 90 minutes before the office opened.

Mr Russell tabled seven early day motions in total, covering such diverse subjects as cystic fibrosis, road safety and the labelling of alcoholic drinks.

Such motions allow MPs to express their opinion and to canvass support by inviting other members to add their signatures in support.

If backed by a lot of MPs they can be used to argue for a full debate on the issue in the Commons or to influence future policy.

SEE ALSO
Early Day Motion
14 Jul 05 |  UK Politics

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