LABOUR MP Mark Todd's Co-operatives and Community Benefit Societies Bill is expected to become law in the summer after receiving all-party support at its final reading in the House of Commons.
Following a three-hour debate in which Co-op MPs Gareth Thomas, Andy Love, Adrian Bailey and David Lepper spoke in favour of Mr Todd's case for reform, the House voted in favour of the proposed legislation which seeks to create an asset lock for mutual and community benefit societies, giving them the right to safeguard their assets in their constitutions thereby protecting them from asset stripping.
Mr Todd's Bill will now go to the House of Lords, where former United Kingdom Co-operative Council chairman and Labour Chief Whip Lord Carter will attempt to ensure the measure comes through the Upper House unscathed.
Co-op Party officials who worked closely with Mr Todd, MP for South Derbyshire and a former director of the old Cambridge Society, to ensure the Bill's success are delighted that the measure received all-party support, which should ensure that the legislation is not delayed in the Lords.
National Secretary Peter Hunt told the News: "Following the Government's backing for the new Community Interest Company scheme, the support given to Mark Todd's Bill is really pleasing and marks a significant step forward for industrial and provident societies.
"It was particularly pleasing that Conservative and Lib Dem spokesmen spoke in favour of the Bill and that no MPs voted against it. Given a fair wind in the House of Lords, the Bill should become law by July."