Motion to Sit in Private — 12 Nov 2010 at 09:30
The majority of MPs voted against a motion: "that the House sit in private".
It appears those who caused the motion to be moved did so in an effort to try and ensure the Sustainable Livestock Bill could make progress towards becoming law despite a small number of MPs being expected to be present to debate it.
Standing Order No. 163 states once a motion to sit in private has been moved it must be "forthwith put" ie. the speaker or the chair must straight away ask MPs if they agree or not and if necessary proceed to a vote. Standing order 163 also states a motion to sit in private may only be moved once per sitting.
This motion was moved as soon as Parliament started sitting at 0930, this had the effect of preventing it being used later in the day. If the motion had been moved later in the day and less than 40 MPs had voted in the resulting division under standing order 41 the debate in progress, presumably the debate on the Sustainable Livestock Bill, would have been "stood over" ie. stopped, and resumed at the next sitting of the house.
Later in the day an attempt was made to curtail debate on the Sustainable Livestock Bill and move straight to a vote on if it ought be given a second reading, ie. if it ought continue on its path to becoming law. This vote, a closure motion, was declared invalid as fewer than 100 Members voted in support of the motion; the vast majority of MPs not voting. There is a minimum number of MPs required for approval of a "closure motion". The closure motion had been moved by Labour MP Robert Flello.
-  House of Commons Standing Orders, April 2010 - PDF
-  Division on the second reading of the Sustainable Livestock Bill, 12 November 2010
-  Robert Flello MP, House of Commons, 12 November 2010
MPs for which their vote in this division differed from the majority vote of their party are marked in red. Also shows which MPs were ministers at the time of this vote. You can also see every eligible MP including those who did not vote in this division.