Signal success

If speed legislating was an Olympic event, Tory backbencher Sir Paul Beresford would be a sure-fire gold medallist.

His Prisons (Interference with Wireless Telegraphy) Bill was given a second reading by the Commons on 6 July, without any debate at all - when it was nodded through at the end of the day's business by the whips. Yesterday, it completed its committee stage in 12 minutes flat. Veterans believe this is a new Commons record. I wonder if the report stage proceedings, due to be held in the Commons tomorrow (Friday 19 October) will keep up the pace?

The bill, incidentally, would allow prisons to bock mobile phone signals within their walls, so preventing prisoners from making illicit contact with the world outside. It's amazing what MPs can do, when the know how to make the system work for them...

Around the BBC