Parliamentary Constituencies (Amendment) Bill

Part of the debate – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:00 am on 17 October 2018.

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Photo of Afzal Khan Afzal Khan Shadow Minister (Home Office) (Immigration) 10:00, 17 October 2018

I beg to move, That the Committee do now adjourn.

Last week, my hon. Friend the Member for City of Chester presented the Committee with a draft order that the Government could easily use to lay the boundary reports before the House. I do not believe it is necessary to copy the offer. The Minister had claimed that preparing the order would take many months, but it is quite clear that it could be done much quicker than that. I would like to ask the Minister how many civil servants are currently working on drafting the order. Is anybody actually doing that?

Whitehall might sometimes seem an obscure place but it is accountable to Parliament and, ultimately, to the public. Has the Minister instructed any parliamentary draftsmen to draw up the order? If so, how far have they got? I would be grateful if we could get an update, seeing as the boundary review was released a month ago.

Even quicker than an order for the boundary review would be a money resolution for my Bill. The Government had no trouble tabling multiple money resolutions for Bills behind mine in the private Member’s Bill ballot. In fact, just yesterday the Minister tabled and spoke to the money resolution for the Overseas Electors Bill, making it crystal clear that money resolutions are being used for party political reasons, to further private Members’ Bills that the Government support and block those they oppose. We can continue to meet every Wednesday morning and I am glad that colleagues continue to attend, but it would be better if we could actually discuss something.