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MPs snooze: Government loses

MPs snooze: Government loses

One of the Tory-led government’s key reforms to the insolvency regime was voted out of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill on Tuesday … and all because their MPs were not paying attention to the proceedings.

DP - 1 July 14 p1The government had proposed to abolish the right for creditors to request face-to-face meetings during corporate insolvencies through Clause 110 of the Bill.  Labour opposed this change, and tabled an amendment to preserve the right, and when this amendment voted on, none of the 11 government MPs on the committee remembered to shout “noe”, and it therefore passed unopposed.

Realising her mistake too late, the Minister responsible, Jo Swinson, told the Committee “when you snooze you lose”.

Toby Perkins, The Shadow Small Business Minister, who is leading for Labour on the Bill, said: “We thought this change could disempower creditors and undermine Britain’s world class insolvency regime, which saves hundreds of businesses and thousands of jobs each year.  So I’m delighted the proposal has been defeated, even though I would have preferred to win on the power of our argument, than because the government MPs were too busy checking their iPhones to remember to vote.”

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