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Clause 8 — Reports of the Boundary Commissions

Part of House of Commons Disqualification (Amendment) – in the House of Commons at 10:45 pm on 19th October 2010.

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Photo of David Heath David Heath The Deputy Leader of the House of Commons 10:45 pm, 19th October 2010

I will of course be led by you, Mr Hoyle, on what it is appropriate to deal with on this group of amendments, although I will take great pleasure in coming back to that argument tomorrow when we debate the proposed constituencies.

Many hon. Members have concentrated on registration, and it is an extraordinarily important issue. I yield to no one in my wish to see registration dealt with much more effectively. Indeed, it was one of my persistent criticisms of the 13 years of the Labour Government that they did so little to ensure that the registration of electors was much improved. That is one of the many failures of the previous Government. I agree with my hon. Friend Simon Hughes, who said that this issue should transcend party politics and our views on the outcome of elections. It surely should be a principle that every single eligible elector should be on the register and that those who are not eligible should not be on the register.

Those are the two sides of the coin, as far as electoral registration is concerned. That is why I am so pleased to have heard what the Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office, my hon. Friend Mr Harper said the other day about the extra measures that the Government are taking to ensure that registration is carried out more effectively across the country. We can do more. I am taken by the view of my hon. Friend the Member for Bermondsey and Old Southwark, which I have heard expressed before, that we should have a democracy day. That is something we can build on. Perhaps hon. Members could work with the local authorities in their area and make better registration a reality.

The debate stood adjourned (Programme Order, this day, and 12 October).

The occupant of the Chair left the Chair.

The Deputy Speaker resumed the Chair.

Progress reported; Committee to sit again tomorrow.