Report (3rd Day)

Part of Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill – in the House of Lords at 5:30 pm on 9th February 2011.

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Photo of Lord Falconer of Thoroton Lord Falconer of Thoroton Shadow Spokesperson (Justice) 5:30 pm, 9th February 2011

My Lords, I fear that I disagree with the noble Lord, Lord Newton of Braintree, and agree with the noble Lord, Lord Teverson, who, through the conduct of this sometimes slightly choppy Bill, has consistently carried the hopes of the people of Cornwall on his shoulders. He has spent a lot of time inside and outside the Chamber persuading people that Cornwall should be treated differently. He has persuaded us, strongly supported by the fact that we-and everyone else in this House-have heard forcibly from people who know about Cornwall. We support the noble Lord, Lord Teverson, and this House owes a lot to him.

One person who the noble Lord thought he might have persuaded was the noble Lord the Leader of the House, who said in Committee:

"Of all parts of the country, I think there is a genuine feeling in Cornwall".

Unfortunately, he later went on to say:

"we reject the argument made in Cornwall because we want clarity and similarity to stretch right across the country".-[Hansard, 25/1/11; col. 921.]

In this Bill, the Government have understood before they started that certain places required special consideration. The noble Lord, Lord Fowler, persuaded this House that the Isle of Wight should be given special consideration; the noble Lord, Lord Teverson, has done the same service. Please listen to what the people of these places are saying. I very much hope the Government will accede to what the noble Lord, Lord Teverson, has said.