Standing Orders (Public Business)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:50 pm on 22nd October 2015.

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Photo of Jonathan Reynolds Jonathan Reynolds Shadow Minister (Transport) 2:50 pm, 22nd October 2015

This is one of those days when I find myself broadly disagreeing with everyone else in the House. Sir Edward Leigh and my hon. Friend Mr Allen have summed up the issue in the most accurate way. I am sympathetic to the case put forward by the Leader of the House and other Conservative Members. The status quo is not a tenable settlement and it needs to be discussed and probably to change. I acknowledge that Labour has struggled with this issue. There is no doubt that the question of English votes for English laws poses a substantial problem for Labour MPs in England, such as myself. Once we have shattered the common interest between Scotland or Wales and the northern cities and London, it is hard to see how a non-Conservative Government could be elected here, based on the numbers in this House, yet it is reasonable to say that there are millions of people in this country who have a legitimate aspiration for a non-Conservative Government at some point or other.

Increasingly, we are creating another political problem by denying that this problem exists and by failing to respond to it. There is no doubt that the status quo is a source of resentment, and some movement on the issue is essential, but I cannot agree with how the Government are dealing with it.