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UK government defeated over banking bill

The UK government has been defeated in the House of Lords with regards to a number of amendments to its flagship banking bill to protect the UK banking sector. A number of legal provisions introduced in the wake of the Northern Rock debacle come to an end on 20 February and the government had hoped to have the new banking bill in place by then. However the defeat in the House of Lords is a bitter blow to Gordon Brown although a victory for the Conservative party and other opposition MPs.

In general there has been strong support for the bill although the sticking point appears to be the subject of monitoring, especially the significant sums being pumped into the sector. The UK government had initially planned to publish an annual report although the Tory party has tabled a motion for a quarterly review so that taxpayers and MPs can see how the money is being spent and any returns. The UK government can take the bill back to the House of Commons and push it through under a MPs vote, but time is running out.

It is unclear whether Gordon Brown is willing to amend the bill to appease those in the Lords or take it back in House to the Commons and push it through in this manner.

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