Amendment 69C

Elections Bill - Report (2nd Day) – in the House of Lords at 8:15 pm on 25th April 2022.

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Lord True:

Moved by Lord True

69C: Before Clause 61, insert the following new Clause—“Review of operation of Act(1) The Secretary of State must, within the review period—(a) prepare a report on the operation of this Act,(b) publish the report, and(c) lay a copy of the report before Parliament.(2) In subsection (1), “the review period” is the period—(a) beginning with the fourth anniversary of the day on which this Act is passed, and(b) ending with the fifth anniversary of that day.”Member’s explanatory statementThis amendment requires the Secretary of State to prepare, publish and lay before Parliament a review of the operation of this legislation, not less than 4 and not more than 5 years after it receives Royal Assent.

Photo of Lord True Lord True Chair, Intergenerational Fairness and Provision Committee, Minister of State (Cabinet Office), Chair, Intergenerational Fairness and Provision Committee

My Lords, I shall speak also to Amendment 69D. I believe both amendments are significant to the House and I hope it will reflect on their importance, because I know there are aspects of the Bill that have concerned Members on all sides of the House. The amendment establishes a statutory duty for post-legislative scrutiny of the Bill, something that has been asked for, certainly by the noble Baroness opposite.

We had believed, and I maintain, that it is standard practice to conduct post-legislative scrutiny of Acts following Royal Assent, but we have listened to the strength of interest in guaranteeing that scrutiny takes place which will go across the Bill and we have tabled this amendment requiring the Secretary of State to prepare, publish and lay before Parliament a review of the operation of this legislation, not less than four and not more than five years after it receives Royal Assent—in other words, in good time. We judge that this amendment supports the commonly shared aim of this House, and answers the recommendation made by PACAC, that the impact of the measures be assessed following implementation of the Bill.

The amendment also sets out that a report by the Secretary of State will need to be set before Parliament to allow debate and scrutiny of the operation of the Act, as your Lordships have asked. Amendment 69D is a minor and technical amendment necessary to state the territorial extent of paragraphs 25 and 26 of Schedule 1. I hope the House will understand that I wish to place on record in Hansard that I think this is a significant proposal from the Government which will allow and ensure statutory consideration and examination of the Bill as a whole if it is given Royal Assent. I beg to move.

Photo of Baroness Hayman of Ullock Baroness Hayman of Ullock Opposition Whip (Lords), Shadow Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), Shadow Spokesperson (Levelling Up, Housing, Communities and Local Government)

My Lords, in Committee I tabled Amendment 205 to ask the Government to include in the Bill a statutory commitment to post-legislative scrutiny of the Bill, as recommended by PACAC. I want to say very briefly how much I welcome the amendments that the Minister has just introduced and to thank him very much for listening to my concerns and the concerns of other Members of this House about the lack of pre-legislative consultation or scrutiny. The fact that this has been included in the Bill is extremely welcome.

Amendment 69C agreed.

Clause 64: Extent