An unexpected call for a blue bill on the right of abode to be introduced to Legco before July 1 was passed by a margin of one vote yesterday. The result is likely to embarrass Governor Chris Patten and his top aides who said they would only publish a blue bill before midnight on June 30 and refused to offer any assistance to the future government to draft a bill on right of abode. China and Britain failed to reach an agreement on right of abode because of differences over whether the provisional legislature should enact the law. The motion, moved by independent legislator Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee won the support of 23 members; 22 voted against. 'Without legislation by this council before July 1 on the right of abode, people in Hong Kong will be exposed to the anguish of being uncertain of exactly where they stand,' Ms Ng said. 'We need to have before us a law stating who is, after July 1, a 'Hong Kong permanent resident' and has the right of abode in Hong Kong, how that status may be changed, acquired, transmitted, lost or extinguished.' But Security Secretary Peter Lai Hing-ling said the administration would not give legitimacy to the interim body. He said: 'We have to be mindful of the very real possibility that any law the legislative process of which begins in the provisional legislature before July 1 1997 would be subject to challenge in the courts - challenged on its legality and validity.' Albert Ho Chun-yan, of the Democratic Party, said China had prevented the Legco from legislating in order to boost the credibility of the interim body and Tung Chee-hwa's office. 'The justification of the Chinese side is unacceptable. It just wants to give the provisional legislature a boost. The Chief Executive office has to draft the bill even though it lacks preparation,' he said. But Chan Wing-chan, of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong, said Legco had no authority to pass laws for the SAR Government.