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Parliamentary Constituencies (Amendment) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:09 pm on 18th November 2016.

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Photo of Pete Wishart Pete Wishart Shadow SNP Westminster Group Leader (Leader of the House of Commons), Chair, Scottish Affairs Committee 12:09 pm, 18th November 2016

It needs to be abolished. It is unreformable. It is an absurd circus. I am not a unicameralist: I believe that a nation as complex as the United Kingdom requires a scrutinising Chamber. Some of my hon. Friends take a different view, but my personal view is that we need a scrutinising Chamber that is properly elected.

What an embarrassing humbling the Government received yesterday when they had to withdraw the Strathclyde review. You cannot take on the boys in ermine and get done like that! The Government will have to reflect on their overwhelming and embarrassing defeat at the hands of the House of Lords. They took on the aristocrats. Those guys won battles in the medieval ages to exercise their right to rule over us. The Government sent the bumptious Lord Strathclyde to try to tame them and that is the result.

I hope that the Government reconsider their approach to the Lords. All they are going to do is increase the number of peers. We now face the prospect over the next few days of having the dark lord Farage. The bad Baron Boot-Them-out-of-Here is going to be a feature of our democracy. Someone who has been beaten eight times in Westminster contests might find himself a parliamentarian through the back door.