MPs queue in attempt to bring back death penalty and privatise BBC

Philip Hollobone and Peter Bone
Philip Hollobone and Peter Bone

An MP from the north of the county has camped overnight at Westminster to try and get Parliament to debate a series of traditional Conservative ideas.

Philip Hollobone, the Tory MP for Kettering, spent four nights this week in a camp bed inside the Palace of Westminster in order to be first on the list for Presentation Bills.

Among the 42 measures are eye-catching proposals including a return of capital punishment, the re-introduction of national service and naming the August bank holiday Margaret Thatcher Day.

Wellingborough and Rushden MP Peter Bone also took turns in the queue, as did two other Conservative MPs, Christopher Chope and David Nuttall.

The MPs also want to privatise the BBC, scrap the approaching relaxation of restrictions on Romanian and Bulgarian immigration and end Government subsidies for windfarms.

“We got together to present a total of 42 bills covering all sorts of issues,” Mr Hollobone said.

“It’s a chance for backbenchers to table legislation. The bills reflect the concerns of our constituents.”

Mr Hollobone said the four MPs ensured they would be first in the queue by camping out since last weekend. He added: “We had a rota system. I took the night shift, I was happy to do that. The others took the days.

“It’s strange sleeping on a camp bed in a Parliamentary office. It’s hot, stuffy and airless. The place is quite busy at night with workmen, security guards, cleaners and Big Ben every 15 minutes.”

Mr Hollobone will also bring a separate bill before Parliament at the start of next month which would stop local authorities being forced to set aside sites for Gypsies and Travellers.

“There’s a lot of concern about this in Kettering,” Mr Hollobone said. “Were the bill to become law it would solve these problems in one go.”