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Early Parliamentary General Election Bill - Second Reading

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:06 pm on 30th October 2019.

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Photo of Earl Howe Earl Howe The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence, Deputy Leader of the House of Lords 6:06 pm, 30th October 2019

Before we have a new Government in place, it is certainly not in my gift to specify the date on which Parliament will return, or indeed what it will do when it does return. However, I am sure the noble Baroness, if and when she is elected to office, will see to it that there is a rapid reconvening of Parliament.

I listened with care, and a great deal of sympathy, to the noble Lords, Lord Puttnam and Lord Whitty, on the critical issue of transparency in electoral campaigning. I also read the noble Lord’s article in the Times today. His criticisms of the Government are noted, but I hope he will accept that the Government are committed to increasing transparency in digital campaigning, to maintain a fair and proportionate democratic process. As both noble Lords will know, to this end, on 5 May the Government announced that we will implement an imprints regime for digital election material. The aim of that is precisely to ensure greater transparency, and to make it clearer to the electorate who has produced and promoted online political material.