Support for attempts to delay the Act

Related tags Licensing act House of lords House of commons

Attempts to delay the start of the Licensing Act have been pushed in both Houses of Parliament this week.In the House of Commons both the Tories and...

Attempts to delay the start of the Licensing Act have been pushed in both Houses of Parliament this week.

In the House of Commons both the Tories and the Lib Dems wanted to postpone the start of the Act on November 24. An Early Day Motion (EDM), tabled by Conservative leader Michael Howard, received the support of 139 MPs in less than 24 hours.

An EDM is a device to draw attention to an issue by inviting other MPs' support - a particular form of EDM, known as a "prayer" can force legislation to be delayed.

However, in a minor victory the opposers of the Act did force the government to refer the 'rubber stamping' of the Licensing Act to a standing committee on delegated legislation. This will mean it will be discussed by a committee of MPs made up of representatives of all parties. It is unlikely to change any of the legislation as the government should have a majority on the committee and therefore there is little danger of it being successfully opposed.

In the House of Lords meanwhile Conservative peer Viscount Astor tabled a motion to delay the Licensing Act until June 30, 2006.

John McNamara, BII chief executive, said that the new regime should not be delayed. "Licensees have been under enormous pressure to obtain their licences," he said. "As responsible licensees BII members worked hard to get their applications in on time. By delaying the implementation all that effort and the associated costs will have been wasted."

According to the Department for Culture, Media & Sport 93 per cent of the expected applications for the new licences have now been received.

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