Page last updated at 16:25 GMT, Thursday, 26 January 2012

Lights out for daylight saving bill, minister confirms

The government has said it will not allow any more time to debate a bill on moving UK time forward by an hour, despite calls from MPs on all sides of the House for it to do so.

Speaking during the business statement on 26 January 2012, Commons Leader Sir George Young said the Daylight Saving Bill, a private members' bill , introduced by Tory Rebecca Harris, should not be given any more time because it stood no chance of becoming law.

A small group of MPs talked out the bill during its report stage on a recent Friday sitting.

With no further days expected to be given to debate private members' bills this Parliamentary session, the legislation is expected to fall.

Sir Alan Haselhurst, who as a former deputy speaker chaired many Friday sittings, told MPs of the "many communications" he had received from his constituents about the bill.

He asked if there was "any prospect" of giving the proposals more time in the Chamber.

Commons Leader Sir George Young confirmed he had also received "a good number of emails" on the subject, but said giving the bill more time would not "do the trick".

He suggested another MP should "pick up the baton" and try to push through similar legislation in the next private members' bill ballot.

Labour's Heidi Alexander aired her irritation at the "handful of members" who "waffled on for five days" during the recent sitting.

After laughter from colleagues, she quickly corrected herself: "I mean five hours. It felt like five days!"

Sir George said he understood the "sense of frustration" from members, but insisted there was "no practical way" of the bill passing, "even if the government gave it time".

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