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Clause 8 — Reports of the Boundary Commissions

Part of House of Commons Disqualification (Amendment) – in the House of Commons at 8:15 pm on 19th October 2010.

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Photo of Chris Bryant Chris Bryant Shadow Minister (Justice) (Political and Constitutional Reform) 8:15 pm, 19th October 2010

Many thanks, Mr Gale.

I was trying to argue that the Government want to move with precipitate haste towards producing a Boundary Commission report on 1 October 2013, and that that date has been arrived at for the specific purpose of trying to hold together the coalition, in order to drive all of this forward towards the measures relating to five-year Parliaments in the Fixed-Term Parliaments Bill.

An Electoral Commission study published earlier this year found that under-registration was concentrated among specific social groups. That is why I believe that it would be inappropriate to move at the pace on which the Government are insisting, and why the amendments would be more appropriate. Greg Mulholland has tabled amendment 341, which proposes to leave out the date "2013" from the clause and insert "2018". That would be a more appropriate timetable, and if he were to press that amendment to a vote, we would want to support him. Mr Gale, I am grateful for the leniency that you have shown in this debate, and I look forward to hearing what the Minister has to say.