A pager message to Labour Peers had to go through several drafts this afternoon before it was considered to be in a fitting state to send out. In the end, the message said:
“Votes are expected after dinner on prostitution. Colleagues are asked to stay for this important business.”
This was a reference to the amendments tabled by the Liberal Democrats which would aim to remove or delete the clauses of the Policing and Crime Bill which make it a “strict liability offence” for somebody to pay another person for sex, if that person has been trafficked or is being coerced into being a prostitute. (It would not be a defence for the person paying to claim that hadn’t known that the prostitute was trafficked.)
Apparently, the original pager message had said something along the lines of:
“We will move on to prostitution after dinner. Please be ready ….”
There was a concern about Peers who might have left their pagers at home and whose spouses might read and misinterpret the message.