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Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:05 pm on 1st April 2019.

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Photo of Bernard Jenkin Bernard Jenkin Chair, Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee 4:05 pm, 1st April 2019

That takes me on to my next point, which is that it seems likely, so long as the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 endures, that minority Governments will continue to be vulnerable to this usurpation of power—or this paralysis, as the hon. Gentleman sees it—which will bring some in this House more influence while never being held accountable or responsible for what happens as a consequence of any decisions made in that way.

The risk is that this process of disapplying Standing Orders, casting aside the processes of the House of Commons, seizing control from the Government, threatening to pass legislation against the Government’s wishes and bending the Executive to the legislature’s will is being used to remove a Government from power but not from office. It seems that the House will strike but not kill, and this new kind of instability is already having dire consequences for our voters’ rapidly diminishing confidence in our nation’s democracy.