Lords Amendment No. 110

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:00 pm on 22nd July 2002.

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Photo of Lord Kingsland Lord Kingsland Conservative 6:00 pm, 22nd July 2002

My Lords, after some hesitation in Committee, the Opposition supported strongly the noble and learned Lord, Lord Lloyd, on Report and at Third Reading. After the noble and learned Lord's victory in your Lordships' House, I assumed that, when the amendment returned to another place, it would be duly reversed and return again to your Lordships' House—as indeed has been the case.

I imagined that I would then stand before noble Lords saying that, although I deeply regretted the vote of another place, there were two reasons why your Lordships should say that our constitutional arrangements have taken their course. First, sooner or later the Judicial Committee of your Lordships' House would have an opportunity to take a view on Part 5. Secondly, the task, constitutionally, of your Lordships' House is to ask another place to think again. Had another place thought again, and had the matter returned to your Lordships, I think we would have been prepared to accept that we had done our duty.

However, as so many noble Lords and noble and learned Lords have said during the past 10 minutes, another place has not thought again. Indeed, another place has not thought at all. Another place has not fulfilled its constitutional duty. That is particularly grave when the matter before it was not a party political matter; it was a constitutional matter raised by a noble and learned Lord from your Lordships' Cross Benches.

With great respect to the noble and learned Lord the Attorney-General, I think he owes noble Lords a very convincing explanation as to why another place was not prepared to think about this matter and return it after careful consideration.