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Early Parliamentary General Election Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:55 pm on 29th October 2019.

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Photo of Anne Main Anne Main Conservative, St Albans 3:55 pm, 29th October 2019

I am not sure how that related to Brenda of Bristol, but the point I wish to make, before I start concluding my remarks, is that in 2017 the public were sick of the idea of having an election but they turned out and they mostly elected the two biggest parties, on a mandate to deliver. This House, for whatever reasons it wishes to conclude, has been letting the public down. The binary choice of in or out has been turned into a political football. Now the parties need to draft their manifestos. They need to firm up their pledges and be honest about what they wish to do. They need to tell the public that if a party is elected with a strong mandate, the horse-trading will stop, the deals will stop and the taking over of the agenda by the Opposition or other individual groups with their own little axe to grind will stop. The parties need to say that a Government will be able to deliver on all the additional funding pledged in the Queen’s Speech and on Brexit, and that the next Government, unless they are a Government who are asked to oppose Brexit, will be delivering on the pledge to deliver to the people.

I hope that today there will be a vote for a general election, and not for political expediency. All of us should be saying sorry to the public for putting them through it again. We should be saying sorry for the dark streets, the cold nights, and the cancelled Christmas decorations or whatever else was going on in halls that are now going to be having election proceedings. All of us need to apologise to the public and say, “Sorry, when you told us to leave, we weren’t actually sure you meant it.”

I believe the public meant it. I know that other Members wish to speak today, including Mr Vaizey, who was not here for the whole debate—