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Standing Orders (Public Business)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:51 pm on 22nd October 2015.

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Photo of Chris Bryant Chris Bryant Shadow Leader of the House of Commons 12:51 pm, 22nd October 2015

I will try to keep it lively, Madam Deputy Speaker, but I might fail.

My hon. Friend Jonathan Reynoldsmakes a good point. I agree with him and with some of the points that the Leader of the House has made. I believe that England needs a distinctive voice in this Parliament and I personally have no objection whatsoever to an England-only Committee to do the line-by-line consideration of legislation that applies only to England. However, like the McKay commission, I believe that there is a real danger when a veto is given to English MPs only, as that creates two tiers of MPs.

There is a further problem. As McKay points out, if the Government or the whole House feel at some point that they have to override English MPs, which is perfectly legitimate, it should be absolutely clear that that is what they have done. The whole House or the Government would then take the political risk, just as the Government would take it on the head if they appointed a Welsh MP to a post that involved largely devolved responsibilities.