United Kingdom Parliamentary Sovereignty Bill
Business of the House
Mark Harper (Parliamentary Secretary (Political and Constitutional Reform), Cabinet Office; Forest of Dean, Conservative)
I dealt with that point when I intervened on my hon. Friend Mr Cash. Conservative Members stood on a manifesto that made a number of commitments. Indeed, he put it quite well in saying that we sought from the British people a mandate to do certain things. As I pointed out to my hon. Friends, much to our disappointment we did not get that mandate from the British people to the extent that we had hoped. We fell short, and that is why we formed a coalition Government. The coalition Government have set out our agreed programme. It contains quite a lot of what we wanted to do in our manifesto, and some
of what the Liberal Democrats wanted to do in theirs, but we were not able to agree on all of it. The British people failed to give us that mandate so we are not able to do everything that we set out in our manifesto. That is disappointing—I find it disappointing and my hon. Friend Mr Bone finds it disappointing. However, we are democrats and we have to live with the decisions of the British people.