Water debate: Tories bottle it…

IN tonight’s debate on the Water and Sewerage Services (Northern Ireland) Order 2006, Lord Trimble’s attempt to delay the introduction of water charges failed after Labour packed its peers into the House of Lords and the Conservatives caved in and allowed the Government to steamroller ahead – despite having offered to back Trimble’s amendment previously. Lord Glentoran’s argument was that the poor Tories had been put in the invidious position of having to back an Order in its entirety, or have it thrown out. But since water charges are “necessary”, and Lord Glentoran had been given a letter of comfort from the NIO (which he might reveal), the Tories did not oppose the Government. I’m sure they will be reminded of this come next year’s Assembly election.