Parliamentary Candidates (Expenditure)

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Justice – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 29th January 2008.

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Photo of Jack Straw Jack Straw The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice 2:30 pm, 29th January 2008

I do indeed recall that, and the proposals in Hayden Phillips's report cause difficulties, albeit not symmetrically, certainly for both the main parties and to some extent for the Liberal Democrat party as well, but those proposals were, and are, a package—not some kind of à la carte menu—and they need to be proceeded with on that basis. That is my profound concern. Meanwhile, as I say, I have now looked with great care at something that was not directly considered—I am not seeking to make any point—either by Hayden Phillips or, indeed, in the Select Committee report, which I have not only read, but have with me today, for the purposes of greater accuracy. It is absolutely clear, as I have remembered and is now confirmed, that Neill wanted to build on the 1983 controls and absolutely no one on either side of the House thought otherwise, so much so, as I have said, that the late John Mackay—Lord Mackay, who was the Conservative spokesman in the other place and who was well known in this House—moved amendments to address concerns about local controls being dissolved. He was reassured—as it turned out, in error, but in good faith—by Ministers that those controls would not be undermined in any way.

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