Lords Amendment

– in the House of Lords at 12:32 pm on 18th March 2004.

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3 Clause 2, page 2, line 14, at end insert—

"( ) The pilot order must provide that—

(a) all postal ballot papers must be accompanied by a declaration of identity, signed by the elector and by a witness, and containing in legible form the name and address of the witness;

(b) each elector who has returned a postal ballot paper is sent an acknowledgment by the returning officer."

The Commons disagree to this amendment for the following reason—

3A Because it is not appropriate to make the requirements to which the Lords amendment relates.

The Lords insist on their Amendment No. 3 to which the Commons have disagreed, for the following Reason—

3B Because it is appropriate to impose the requirements set out in the Lords amendment.

The Commons insist on their disagreement with the Lords in their Amendment No. 3, and propose the following amendment to the Bill in lieu of that amendment—

3C Page 2, line 14, at end insert—

"( ) The pilot order must specify the form and content of the declaration of identity form."

Photo of Lord Filkin Lord Filkin Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Constitutional Affairs)

My Lords, I beg to move that the House do not insist on Amendment No. 3 and do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 3C in lieu thereof.

I shall speak very briefly because I would hope that this is not a great issue. For the benefit of others, the Government have conceded on the issue of the witness signature but do not think it is sensible to ask returning officers to send acknowledgements for the reasons I explained when we previously debated this matter. I hope that we are at one on this issue.

Moved, That the House do not insist on Amendment No. 3 and do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 3C in lieu thereof.—(Lord Filkin.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

Bill returned to the Commons with an amendment.

Photo of Lord Grocott Lord Grocott Chief Whip (House of Lords), HM Household, Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)

My Lords, due to circumstances beyond my control, I beg that the House do adjourn for five minutes during pleasure.

Moved accordingly, and, on Question, Motion agreed to.

[The Sitting was suspended from 12.45 to 12.50 p.m.]