Amendment 2

Part of Dissolution and Calling of Parliament Bill - Committee – in the House of Lords at 7:30 pm on 25th January 2022.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Lord Butler of Brockwell Lord Butler of Brockwell Crossbench 7:30 pm, 25th January 2022

My Lords, the noble Lord asked for an example of where a Prime Minister might illegitimately ask for a general election. I will give an example not a million miles away from our present circumstances. Let us suppose that 54 Conservative Members of Parliament expressed no confidence in the present Prime Minister, and there was then an election in the Conservative Party for an alternative leader, and that leader emerged. At that moment, the present Prime Minister decided that, rather than give up power, he would ask the Queen to dissolve Parliament so that there could be a general election. I put it to the noble Lord, Lord Sherbourne, that, in those circumstances, a majority in Parliament, which the Conservatives would have, would reject the proposal for a general election. That might be an imaginable circumstance. I am not in favour of this amendment—I would rather not have it at all—but that is a situation where I would rather that the majority in Parliament rejected the idea of an election than the Queen having to do it.