Security of Supply
12th Jan 2006
John Robertson (Glasgow, North-West) (Lab): We have been having an interesting debate. We have a pro-nuclear element on the Conservative Benches and an anti-nuclear element on the Labour Benches, so today I feel somewhat embarrassed to be standing on the Government side of the House, given that I am chair of the all-party group on nuclear energy. It will not take a genius to work out whether I am in favour of nuclear energy.
John Robertson (Glasgow, North-West) (Lab): I have two speeches, and I have now created a third to try to shorten my contribution to the debate and allow other Members to get in as well. I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Paisley and Renfrewshire, North (Jim Sheridan) on securing the debate. I was fortunate to get a similar debate at the beginning of December, in which hon. Members who are present today took part. Would that more Members than the usual suspects take part.
Along with my hon. Friend the Member for Midlothian (Mr. Hamilton), I was a member of the Scottish Affairs Committee that the hon. Member for Angus (Mr. Weir) mentioned. The Committee produced the report on the energy needs for Scotland, and I have no doubt that the report could be easily transferred to the whole of the United Kingdom. We agreed that we should include everything in the energy mix to ensure that the needs of the people of Scotland are met, but a few members of the Committee were against nuclear energy at all costs. The hon. Member for Angus was one, and it was a sad indictment of his party. The Liberal Democrat Member, who is not present today, took the exact same position.
John Robertson (Glasgow, North-West) (Lab): I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Sunderland, South (Mr. Mullin) on securing this debate. The only thing that I am sorry about is the low attendance. I prepared a short contribution because I thought that many colleagues, particularly from south f the border, would want to be involved. It is a sad indictment of our colleagues that they are not here to make contributions.
Mr. Mullin : With all due respect to the Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, my hon. Friend the Member for Leigh (Andy Burnham), who is a fine fellow, what I am most concerned about is the disappointing absence of the Minister of State responsible for policy in this area. I am sure that when my hon. Friend returns to the Home Office he will convey to him the sentiments expressed here today, but I would have liked to do that in person.