Constitutional Reform and Governance Bill

Part of Sustainable Communities Act 2007 (Amendment) Bill – in the House of Commons at 1:00 pm on 8th April 2010.

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Photo of Jack Straw Jack Straw The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice 1:00 pm, 8th April 2010

And he confirms that.

The other place is very different. It might be attached to this building, but in other respects it is a different planet, as I have discovered, and I was further educated all of yesterday and in the small hours of this morning. The parties can do whatever they want, and we agreed, but as there are no rules of order in the other place, which is absolutely remarkable, a number of people on both sides who were described to me as "mavericks"-I would not use such a pejorative word-could not be prevented from saying that they would dig in and would talk on the matter, and a whole series of other things, until 4 or 5 am. Unless we had a broad consensus on every single item by external negotiation, including with the outriders, we were not going to get anything through. That is the difficulty.

Lords amendments 67 to 70 are consequential on removing part 10. Amendment 73 is also consequential, and a further amendment removes the clauses relating to the national audit. I am very sorry, as I know everybody is, about having to remove the national audit provisions. I deeply regret that, but otherwise we would not have had any Bill at all. I pledge that we will bring the provisions back if we are re-elected.

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