That Planning Reform debate…

There were some excellent contributions from a wide variety of backbenchers – notably mostly from the same side as our own Alan Mak MP. Having read with interest the submission that he put his name to, we were looking forward to his contribution to the debate, a summary of which can be found in today’s Grauniad.

If you have 5 hours and 40 minutes to spare, you can watch it here on iPlayer for the next 29 days. If you want to skip the last 5 hours, you might just be in good company.

The Speaker kicked things off with a warning that since so many back bench MPs wanted to speak in depth about their constituency’s concerns, each would be limited to four minutes. Now there are a lot of important points about Havant’s housing concerns that could be voiced in four minutes by a dedicated MP so we settled down to watch.

Bob Seely, from our neighbouring Isle of Wight constituency, started the debate in eloquent style, with our man waiting eagerly for his chance (top left).

It was rather unfortunate that Bob Seely’s proposal was interrupted unnecessarily at times by other MPs clearly seeking selfies for their constituency blogs before heading for an early exit.

Then just thirty minutes into the debate, we note that our man had moved down beside Phillip Hollobone (Con. Kettering) and is seen here adjusting his tie before his own stage entrance.

Exactly 32 minutes into the debate, Philip Hollobone politely gives way and our man gets to his feet to use all of 12 seconds to tell the house that his ‘constituency of Havant has areas of high urbanisation and areas of environmental sensitivity’.

Here’s the clip. We catch Phillip Hollobone half way through his considered contribution, including the 12 seconds in the middle where our MP makes what might have been his sole mark on the debate*.

A few short minutes later and poor old Bob Seely looks remarkably short of support from this part of Hampshire.

* For the avoidance of doubt, We’d be grateful if somebody could watch the whole five hours and forty minutes of the debate at the link at the top of this post and let us know the time at which Alan Mak returns to make his full four minute contribution. We’ll then update this post for all to see.

Update: We’ve checked Hansard and those were indeed the only words spoken by him.