Report (3rd Day)

Part of Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill – in the House of Lords at 4:15 pm on 9th February 2011.

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Photo of Lord Butler of Brockwell Lord Butler of Brockwell Crossbench 4:15 pm, 9th February 2011

My Lords, this amendment allows the Boundary Commission, in very exceptional circumstances, to exercise its discretion within a range of 15 per cent rather than 10 per cent. The noble Lord, Lord Rennard, made the point that this would give people who wished for one reason or another to delay the operation of the reforms greater scope to introduce litigation. Of course, even within the 10 per cent provided in the Bill, the Boundary Commission is exercising discretion. It is not clear to me why, in these very exceptional circumstances, there would be more scope for challenging under the 15 per cent variation than under the 10 per cent. If people, for reasons of their own, wish to obstruct this process, is there not exactly the same power to do that under the 10 per cent provision? The advantage of having 15 per cent is that without giving much greater scope-or, indeed, any greater scope-for challenge, the Boundary Commission can reach reasonable recommendations in cases where it is necessary.