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Queen's Speech — Debate (3rd Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 11:20 am on 27th May 2010.

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Photo of Lord McNally Lord McNally Deputy Leader of the House of Lords, The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice, Liberal Democrat Leader in the House of Lords 11:20 am, 27th May 2010

We have had many debates about fixed-term Parliaments, and this is the first example. The noble Lord may recall the dithering and doubts caused by the recent Prime Minister and the harm that that did to good governance, and that many colleagues, including those on his Benches, have for a long time argued the benefits of fixed-term Parliaments. I would have thought that as he is a reformer he would welcome it, but I must move on. The legislation will provide for the possibility that a dissolution of Parliament may be needed outside the five-year timetable. Our proposal is that it should happen if more than 55 per cent of the other place votes for it. Parliament would still be able to dismiss a Government, but the Government would not be able to dismiss Parliament.