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Clause 1 — Police and crime commissioners

Part of Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill – in the House of Commons at 7:15 pm on 12th September 2011.

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Photo of Paul Murphy Paul Murphy Labour, Torfaen 7:15 pm, 12th September 2011

The effect of the amendment would be to ask the Government to talk to the Assembly and the Welsh Assembly Government, so that between them they could work out an appropriate date for an election.

Simon Hart said that he had been converted to the Bill over the past couple of weeks. He is almost on his own in Wales, because the majority of

Welsh Members of Parliament, the majority of Assembly Members, the majority of the non-Labour members of the Welsh Local Government Association, every single police authority in Wales and virtually every police officer I have talked to thinks that this is a bad idea.

In a devolved system in which the Government share responsibility for policing, the Government should immediately hold discussions with the Welsh Assembly Government and the National Assembly for Wales to talk about the principle of the election and the efficacy of the policy. To put it through in the way they are doing is the complete reverse of a respect agenda. Simply saying, “It is our responsibility in the British Parliament and only the British Government can do this,” completely goes against the spirit of proper negotiation and discussion that was a part of our United Kingdom. That goes to the heart of what this Government are often about: they say one thing and do another.

On this Bill, I join all my right hon. and hon. Friends in asking the Government to think again. In particular, on behalf of those of us from Wales who are concerned about this matter—many of my right hon. and hon. Friends have signed the amendment—I ask the Government to have an immediate discussion so that at least the people of Wales are heard and this preposterous and daft measure can be deferred.