Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

POLITICAL PARTIES BILL ON FLOOR OF THE COMMONS

  • Comment
Hansard 14 Feb: Column 618-718 ...
Hansard 14 Feb: Column 618-718

The Bill which broadly enshrines the Neill Committee recommendations on the policing of political parties and the conduct of elections and referendums began its commons committee stage on the floor of the house - because it is a constitutional matter.

The Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Bill has broad support from all parties, but the government was forced to a division on two Conservative amendments - both of which they won easily.

The Bill establishes an electoral commission, as recommended by Neill, but it also creates a speaker's committee to oversee the work of the commission, which was not recommended by Neill. The government proposes a committee including the home secretary, the minister for local government, the chairman of the home affairs select committee and six MPs appointed by the peers.

For the Conservatives, Patrick Cormack said if ever a body needed to be respected for its impartiality, that would be the speaker's committee. He proposed an amendment that it should be modelled on the commission of the house of commons, consisting of the speaker, the leader of the house, a nominee of the leader of the opposition, and three MPs appointed by the house of commons, none of whom would be a minister.

The motion was defeated by 290 votes to 144.

Shadow leader of the house George Young proposed an amendment to remove the electoral commission's duty in its educational role to give information about the working of alternative voting systems, particulalrly in Europe. It was defeated by 309 votes to 126.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.