Clause 1 — Expulsion and suspension of Members of the House of Lords

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:22 am on 6th March 2015.

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Photo of George Young George Young Conservative, North West Hampshire 11:22 am, 6th March 2015

It was last used in December 1954—Captain Peter Baker. I speak from memory and stand to be corrected, but the power is there. I hope the

House of Lords does not have to use its power, but it is there as a possible sanction and an expression of the powers it is prepared to use if behaviour becomes wholly unacceptable.

The Bill is drafted to ensure that the powers apply only in respect of conduct that comes to light after the Bill’s passing. There is no power to impose an additional sanction on misbehaviour that has already been considered and sanctioned under the current regime.

As I have said, the Bill was universally supported in the Lords. Peers from all parties and groups expressed their strong hope that the Bill would pass the Commons during this Parliament—it received an unopposed Second Reading on 23 January in the Commons. It has been extensively considered on the Floor of the House and upstairs. I am grateful to my hon. Friend Mr Chope for ensuring that all aspects of the Bill were properly considered. I hope I have given him the assurances he has sought. I am sorry that I did not do that on the last occasion, when we had a Division.

The Bill is an important piece of legislation and I very much hope it reaches the statute book without too much further delay.