Amendment 2

Part of Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill - Report – in the House of Lords at 4:15 pm on 17th July 2019.

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Photo of Lord True Lord True Chair, Intergenerational Fairness and Provision Committee 4:15 pm, 17th July 2019

My Lords, I spoke against these amendments in Committee, and will not repeat all my arguments. But there are four strands in why I believe that these amendments are unwise and unwanted. Before proceeding, I say to the noble Lord, Lord Anderson —who, again, introduced his amendment with great courtesy, charm and skill—that, on a point of fact, 16 out of 23 Prime Ministers of this country have first come to office without a general election, as a result of actions within their own party and within Parliament, including, I say for the benefit of the Liberals, David Lloyd George.

The idea, therefore, that the next Prime Minister would somehow be constitutionally dubious—a proposition that has been advanced by the noble Lord, Lord Cormack—is, frankly, absurd.