Parliamentary Constituencies (Amendment) Bill

Part of the debate – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:00 am on 31 October 2018.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Chris Matheson Chris Matheson Shadow Minister (Cabinet Office) 10:00, 31 October 2018

It is a great pleasure to see you back in the Chair, Ms Dorries, and I will not detain you or the Committee for very long this morning, save to echo the words of my hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, Gorton about private Members’ Bills, which were considered after Second Reading of his Bill, jumping the queue.

I have to say that this is not a British way of doing things. We queue in this country, and we take our fair turn. We take our fair turn even in Torbay, and we do things in the right order. It is discourteous not to follow a fair order and not to treat things fairly. It is discourteous not just to my hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, Gorton, but to every hon. Member in this House who would seek to use the private Member’s Bill system to change the law or to have an effect on the democracy of our country. It is therefore discourteous to the whole House.

I say once again to the Minister that the absurdity of the situation will damage the reputation of the Government, but it will also damage the reputation of this House. At some point, when the House’s reputation is brought into disrepute, I hope that the House itself will make its own judgment on the Government’s actions in failing to bring forward the money resolution in fair time. It is clear to me now, and I think it is becoming even clearer—to hon. Members of all parties—that the delay is entirely politically motivated and flies in the face of the democratic decision taken on Second Reading. The longer it goes on, the greater the damage will be to the reputation of Parliament. I urge the Minister to bear that in mind as she considers whether to speak to colleagues about introducing a money resolution, so that we can get on with what the House asked us to get on with.