Part of House of Lords Reform Bill [HL] – in the House of Lords at 1:00 pm on 10th February 2012.

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Photo of Lord Dubs Lord Dubs Labour 1:00 pm, 10th February 2012

I am rather disappointed with this amendment, as we considered the provision in some detail in Committee and agreed to it. When the House makes a decision in Committee, I am not sure how appropriate it is simply to reverse it on Report. I am not even sure whether it is in accord with the way we normally do things to reverse a Committee decision just because you do not like it.

On the point of principle, I hate having to go over an argument which we used in Committee, but, as the noble Lord has used a counterargument, let me put it this way. It seems wrong in principle that we are virtually the only people in the country who are not allowed to vote in general elections to influence what is to be the future Government of our country. That is a clear statement, and to reverse it would be a retrograde step. I cannot think of any argument in principle-beyond the fact that we have always done it this way-that justifies our not being able to vote in parliamentary elections. We can vote in European elections, local elections and referenda. After quite a long discussion, the House decided quite properly that that was a good move forward. I very much hope that the House will not accept the amendment of the noble Lord, Lord Trefgarne.