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Early Parliamentary General Election Bill - Second Reading

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:49 pm on 30th October 2019.

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Photo of Lord Elton Lord Elton Conservative 5:49 pm, 30th October 2019

My Lords, we need to learn from our experience. It seems to me self-evident that a House of Commons which has lost not only the respect but the confidence of the nation is something that needs to be replaced. I think that a House of Commons in which the Government no longer actually control the business is something that needs to be displaced. It is also self-evident, although I have no knowledge of the dynamics of what goes on in this House of Commons, that in any House of Commons the difficulty of securing a majority for a Dissolution, if a majority is required, increases with the number of people in that body who are likely to lose their jobs and their places. So when there is an urgent need to refresh the House of Commons and it is faced with a Bill which dramatically increases the majority needed until it cannot be reached, the only conclusion I can reach is the same as that of the noble Lord, Lord Lea of Crondall, who I caught as I was going out, and certainly that of the noble and learned Lord, Lord Judge, which is that the Fixed-term Parliaments Act is actually an anti-democratic piece of legislation and should be repealed swiftly. I am speaking now only in order to put on the record that I, and I think many others, would urge the incoming House of Commons to address this problem as quickly as possible.