MP Philip Hollobone’s planned law to ban wearing the burka in public is binned by Parliament
A LAW to ban the burka from being worn in public was among proposed legislation consigned to the dustbin today.
Tory Philip Hollobone’s Face Coverings (Regulation) Bill failed to get a second reading on the last day for consideration of backbench MPs’ Bills this parliamentary session.
Other legislation which failed to make progress included an attempt to set up a mechanism to oust failing MPs and an attempt to reintroduce terraces at football grounds.
Mr Hollobone (Kettering) has previously described the burka as “offensive” and “against the British way of life”.
His legislation would also have outlawed balaclavas and other garments “intended by the wearer as its primary purpose to obscure the face”.
Mr Hollobone’s Bill was one of 48 pieces of legislation for which there was no time for debate after the day was dominated by consideration of the Daylight Saving Bill.
This meant that the Face Coverings (Regulation) Bill was able to be denied a second reading through a cry of “object” from MPs and a similar fate awaited most of the other Bills on the order paper.
Tory MP for Richmond Park Zac Goldsmith’s Recall of Elected Representatives Bill would have allowed constituents to trigger a referendum on whether their MP should remain in office.
Liberal Democrat MP for Bath Don Foster’s Safe Standing (Football Stadia) Bill also failed to make progress, but there was some consolation for him as his Live Music Bill cleared the Commons.
Labour’s Graham Jones (Hyndburn) saw his Metal Theft (Prevention) Bill fail to make progress after objections from the Government whips.
The Energy Networks Association (ENA), which represents wires and pipes companies, was disappointed.
The ENA’s chief executive David Smith said: “Opposition to these changes is nothing less than a gift to criminals. We have always said that the problem required a comprehensive solution, something the Bill provided for.
“We now look to the Government to set out their proposals urgently, as every delay increases the risk that an innocent life will be lost.”
Tory Nadine Dorries’ controversial Sex Education (Required Content) Bill, which would have forced schools to give girls information and advice on the benefits of abstinence from sexual activity, did not even make it on to the order paper.
Ms Dorries (Mid Bedfordshire) told Commons officials there was no need to spend money printing copies of the Bill as there would be no time to debate it.
“I didn’t realise that when you don’t get a hard copy printed they don’t list it on the order paper,” she said.
“To be honest there was more chance of a meteor hitting Parliament than my Bill getting debated.”
However she hinted the measure could return in the next session of Parliament as one of a “number of Bills” she was working on.
Private Members’ Bills are usually only debated on designated Fridays, and there are no more listed days before the end of the Parliamentary session which is expected to be in early May.
In a point of order at the start of today’s proceedings Labour’s Joan Walley (Stoke N), whose Public Bodies (Sustainable Food) Bill was one of the victims of the time limit, attacked the “archaic procedures of this House in getting proper legislation through”.