#Lighterlater: Bill defeat was a blow to British democracy

Lighter Later campaign manager Daniel Vockins says this is not the end of the campaign (Source: Greg Knapp)

After five hours of debate, the Daylight Saving Bill failed to pass its Third Reading in the House of Commons, after the legislation ran out of time.

Backed by the Lighter Later campaign, the Bill called for review of the evidence surrounding Britain’s bi-annual clock changes.

According to campaigners, a permanent change to Central European Time could save the UK over 447,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.

But despite wide-ranging support for the Bill from politicians, businesses and the public, opposition by a small yet determined group of MPs saw the Daylight Saving Bill fail to make progress after a series of votes.

RTCC asked the campaign team for their reaction after this setback.

By Daniel Vockins
Lighter Later Campaign Manager

Sometimes things don’t go your way. Today was one of those days.

About an hour ago the Daylight Saving Bill failed to pass its Third Reading in the House of Commons.

The problem wasn’t a lack of support.

Even with over 120 supportive MPs in the Commons, the support of 90 national organisations, the UK government and strong public opinion polls, a couple of hostile MPs were able to run down the clock with a series of ‘wrecking amendments’ designed to waste time, so the bill never even went to a vote.

The tricks they use to hold up the process – from quoting the bible to hiding in the Commons toilets – are an affront to the democratic process.

Today’s result illustrates everything that’s wrong with the Private Member’s Bill system.

We’re really angry about this, and many MPs feel the same way. More than 120 of them have given up a day of of constituency meetings to be in Westminster and support the bill.

We fell foul of a broken system that’s crying out for reform, so our first job is to see if there’s another way to make this happen.

There are a few options on the table, from persuading the government to take up the legislation itself, to lobbying for more parliamentary time.

But for now, I’d just like to say a massive thank you for all your hard work: lobbying your MP, donating to the campaign or just arguing for lighter evenings at the pub or around the dinner table.

Together we’ve moved the clock change debate further forward than it’s been for decades, and shown how a whole new approach to campaigning can work.

We’ve built something pretty special over the last couple of years, and I can’t wait to see where it goes next.

We’ll be back in touch soon with an update, but in the meantime you can talk/vent about today’s result and possible next steps on Twitter with #lighterlater or on the Lighter Later Facebook page.

Thank you,

Daniel Vockins
Campaign Manager, Lighter Later

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