Restoration and Renewal (Report of the Joint Committee)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:56 pm on 31st January 2018.

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Photo of Pete Wishart Pete Wishart Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Constitution), Shadow SNP Leader of the House of Commons, Chair, Scottish Affairs Committee 4:56 pm, 31st January 2018

Yet again, there is a cunning plan in place, because a precedent has been set. If I, for whatever reason that I cannot foresee, was less than successful in the next election, defeated Members for Perth and North Perthshire are simply given a peerage in the House of Lords.

We have proposed a sensible approach to the current issues facing this House. There is nothing wrong with considering a new-build Parliament off site. It is deeply disappointing and depressing that when that was sensibly presented by my hon. Friend Neil Gray to the Joint Committee, it was rejected out of hand and did not even get the time of day as a proposal. Is that not absolutely shocking? It was a failure of true diligence of this House to consider all available options—just rejected immediately. It would have been a solution. Just imagine developers lining up to get a share of this place, a UNESCO site; just imagine what they could do. We are trying to shoehorn a Parliament into this mock Gothic building. We need a 21st century Parliament designed with all the features that we require as 21st century parliamentarians to do our job, and that cannot be achieved on this site without decades of work and billions and billions of pounds.

That brings me to amendment (b) to motion 2. This is really, really important. For goodness’ sake let us at least end the useless tradition that actively eats into our productivity as Members of Parliament and restore electronic voting in whatever approach we pursue. [Interruption.] Another proposal that has gone down particularly well with my Conservative friends! We waste days of parliamentary time just stuck in the packed voting Lobby, waiting to make that simple binary choice of yes or no.