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Wednesday, 11 June, 2008

  • Newsnight
  • 11 Jun 08, 04:29 PM

commons203.jpgIn tonight's programme - two knife-edge votes - one in Westminster on 42-day detention and one in Ireland on the new European constitutional treaty.

We'll be assessing how far tonight's vote may help Gordon Brown to bounce back - and how far tomorrow's vote in Ireland could sink the "European project".

Plus a report from Afghanistan on whether the billions of dollars of aid that have poured into the country have been spent effectively.

42 days - oxygen of publicity?

  • Michael Crick
  • 11 Jun 08, 03:42 PM

The two opening speeches in this afternoon's debate on 42 days were not a great Parliamentary occasion which will stick in the memory. Both Jacqui Smith and David Davis were beset by and allowed far too many interventions from backbenchers. Despite the many personal phone calls from Gordon Brown to Labour backbenchers, and the many reported "bribes" to those who are thought to be wavering, it looks like the vote could be close.

It may all boil down to the Democratic Unionists, now led by Peter Robinson. Several DUP MPs sat listening to the opening speeches, and at one point I saw them gathered in a huddle at the entrance to the chamber.

One perhaps significant intervention came from the DUP's former mayor for Belfast Sammy Wilson, who suggested that the government's 42-day measure, the Parliamentary and public debate that would surround its use, would provide terrorists with, in Margaret Thatcher's old phrase, the "oxygen of publicity". Not what Jacqui Smith would have wanted to hear if she's hoping for the DUP's nine votes.

Prospects for Wednesday, 11 June, 2008

  • Newsnight
  • 11 Jun 08, 10:04 AM

Today's output editor is Shaminder Nahal - here's her morning e-mail to the production team:

Hello everyone.

Today, MPs vote on 42-day detention for terrorist suspects.

Tomorrow, the Irish people vote in a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. David Grossman and Sarah Teasdale are in Dublin.

We have a film from Alastair Leithead and Richard Colebourn on how effectively billions of dollars of aid have been spent in Afghanistan.

What else?

See you in a minute,

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