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Business Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:32 pm on 2nd April 2001.

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Photo of Angela Browning Angela Browning Shadow Leader of the House of Commons 4:32 pm, 2nd April 2001

I wonder whether the Leader of the House could explain why the Election Publications Bill [Lords]—a measure introduced only because an Act passed during the previous Session of this Parliament was so badly flawed that it needs change and amendment before the coming elections—will be subject to an allocation of time. The reason for the flaws in the original Act was that the measure was guillotined; a specific part of the then Bill, which was so flawed that it is the subject of the new Bill, was guillotined such that the House gave it no scrutiny whatever. Given that fact, it seems wrong that the Leader of the House should propose that the, Bill be guillotined under an allocation of time motion.

On the Elections Bill, which has just been the subject of discussion in the House, the Leader of the House will know that although we can understand why it needs to be processed reasonably quickly given the deferred date of the local elections, a lot of questions remain and it needs proper scrutiny none the less. When denying that there was a need to defer the date of the local elections, she referred to the seriousness of such an action. That is on the record of the House, so I hope that she accepts that the Elections Bill needs proper scrutiny and debate, otherwise we shall be in the same position as we were with the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000, which was an absolute mess.