Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:41 pm on 3rd September 2013.

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Photo of Angela Eagle Angela Eagle Shadow Leader of the House of Commons 1:41 pm, 3rd September 2013

As always, my hon. Friend puts his finger on an extremely relevant point.

The Leader of the House made much of his personal commitment to the pre-legislative scrutiny of Bills, and I will be the first to praise him for that. However, his commitment is ringing pretty hollow now. The Government promised that there would be pre-legislative scrutiny on the lobbying proposals in part 1. In May 2012, when he was the Minister responsible, the present Minister for Immigration, Mr Harper, told this House:

“We are going to . . . publish our proposals and put them up for pre-legislative scrutiny”.—[Hansard, 22 May 2012; Vol. 545, c. 972.]

There has been none, and the Government have deliberately chosen to preclude it by taking the Bill so quickly and on the Floor of the House.

Let us remind ourselves of what the Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office, Miss Smith, who is now the responsible Minister, told the House in April this year—