Results 181–200 of 11750 for speaker:Lord Lansley

Oral Answers to Questions — Education: European Council (27 Oct 2014)

Andrew Lansley: Does my right hon. Friend believe that the provisions for the UK rebate on the EU budget contribution apply to any additional demand made by the Commission? I think that they should and, therefore, that whatever the final calculation of any demand may be, up to two thirds of it should be rebated back to the United Kingdom.

Bill Presented — General Practitioner Surgeries (Rural Areas) Bill: Recall of MPs Bill (21 Oct 2014)

Andrew Lansley: I am grateful for the opportunity to contribute to this interesting debate, and I am pleased to follow the hon. Member for Foyle (Mark Durkan). In a sense, he and others who support the alternative approach, as set out by my hon. Friend the Member for Richmond Park (Zac Goldsmith), are looking for a Bill that would achieve a substantially different end from that of the Government’s...

Bill Presented — General Practitioner Surgeries (Rural Areas) Bill: Recall of MPs Bill (21 Oct 2014)

Andrew Lansley: I agree. I have been listening carefully to the debate, and it is interesting to consider under what circumstances the kind of mechanism—the kind of trigger for recall—that is not in the current recall Bill but that is proposed to be put into it in its place would impact on Members. I do not think it would be the prospect that they would be the subject of a referendum vote with...

Bill Presented — General Practitioner Surgeries (Rural Areas) Bill: Recall of MPs Bill (21 Oct 2014)

Andrew Lansley: I am grateful to my hon. Friend, who has such expertise, for endorsing that point. It goes even further. Often we are talking about offences that are not indictable. They are what are regarded as offences in the mind of the electorate. They may be genuine or they may not be genuine, but if they are genuine and bear upon conduct in this House and are, on the face of it, a breach of our code of...

Bill Presented — General Practitioner Surgeries (Rural Areas) Bill: Recall of MPs Bill (21 Oct 2014)

Andrew Lansley: I understand my hon. Friend’s point. I am afraid that there are too many risks to be confident that the process of notice of intent to recall leading to the 20% petition could necessarily be regarded as objective and fair. All that is required to be done to damage substantially and perhaps fatally the reputation of a Member of Parliament is for such an allegation to be made, which may...

Bill Presented — General Practitioner Surgeries (Rural Areas) Bill: Recall of MPs Bill (21 Oct 2014)

Andrew Lansley: My hon. Friend leads me on to the most important aspect of this, which is that what is being sought here is an opportunity for recall in order to seek to influence the views of Members of Parliament. If that is not the case, why would the public be doing it? I have made the argument about allegations of poor behaviour. The Government’s recall Bill, which I support and was involved in,...

Bill Presented — General Practitioner Surgeries (Rural Areas) Bill: Recall of MPs Bill (21 Oct 2014)

Andrew Lansley: I am happy to think about that, and I am sure that our Front-Bench colleagues will also be willing to do so. My initial view is that the second trigger could be applied only in relation to serious breaches of the code of conduct of MPs so, by definition, views on policy expressed by Members in this Chamber could not in themselves represent such a breach.

Bill Presented — General Practitioner Surgeries (Rural Areas) Bill: Recall of MPs Bill (21 Oct 2014)

Andrew Lansley: When I was Leader of the House, I always enjoyed hearing the often highly educated views of the shadow Minister, and I give way to him so that I can do so again.

Bill Presented — General Practitioner Surgeries (Rural Areas) Bill: Recall of MPs Bill (21 Oct 2014)

Andrew Lansley: The coalition agreement did say that, but draft legislation was published in 2011, which was reasonably early in a five-year Parliament.

Bill Presented — General Practitioner Surgeries (Rural Areas) Bill: Recall of MPs Bill (21 Oct 2014)

Andrew Lansley: I was involved not least because of the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee’s comments on the draft Bill but, more specifically for my purposes, because the Standards Committee suggested that the second trigger should be recast. The Standards Committee’s reservations are now dealt with in this Bill.

Bill Presented — General Practitioner Surgeries (Rural Areas) Bill: Recall of MPs Bill (21 Oct 2014)

Andrew Lansley: I do not suppose that I am overestimating the Bill’s importance, although it was important that we delivered on our manifesto promises and the coalition agreement. Achieving that was at the forefront of our minds as we set out our legislative programme, for which I had responsibility. I was slightly amused that the speech made by the hon. Member for Clacton was largely about the...

Bill Presented — General Practitioner Surgeries (Rural Areas) Bill: Recall of MPs Bill (21 Oct 2014)

Andrew Lansley: I will give way first to the hon. Member for Na h-Eileanan an Iar (Mr MacNeil), who is being very persistent, as ever, and then to my hon. Friend the Member for Beverley and Holderness (Mr Stuart).

Bill Presented — General Practitioner Surgeries (Rural Areas) Bill: Recall of MPs Bill (21 Oct 2014)

Andrew Lansley: The hon. Gentleman raises an interesting question, and not a hypothetical one—let us face it: he is referring to a decision of the kind taken in 2003. We have asked today how many people would sign petitions, write to their Member of Parliament or go to one of four designated places in a constituency in order to do something. Well, in my recollection, 2003 was the point when it was most...

Bill Presented — General Practitioner Surgeries (Rural Areas) Bill: Recall of MPs Bill (21 Oct 2014)

Andrew Lansley: This is very difficult, because we are necessarily debating what the circumstances would be, but I have been struck by speeches arguing for amending the Bill on the basis that it will all be all right on the night. Well, legislation is not like that. Legislation is like writing a contract; if we write a contract with somebody—in this case with the electorate—we have to know how it...

Bill Presented — General Practitioner Surgeries (Rural Areas) Bill: Recall of MPs Bill (21 Oct 2014)

Andrew Lansley: My hon. Friend will recall that I am not enamoured of 38 Degrees, but it is interesting to make that distinction. My hon. Friend the Member for Richmond Park and his colleagues have constructed the proposition that one must physically go to one of four places in a constituency in order to disempower 38 Degrees and those who would try to create petitions on an online basis. If we start down...

Bill Presented — General Practitioner Surgeries (Rural Areas) Bill: Recall of MPs Bill (21 Oct 2014)

Andrew Lansley: It is not that Members have something to fear from participation in our democracy—far from it. I believe completely in the wisdom of the masses, but we have to recognise when and how that is properly to be tested in the formal sense. We are a representative democracy, and we increasingly change the character of our democracy anyway. The referendum is a participatory democratic vehicle....

Bill Presented — General Practitioner Surgeries (Rural Areas) Bill: Recall of MPs Bill (21 Oct 2014)

Andrew Lansley: I am quite old fashioned: Members would have to look quite far back to find a point at which I did not vote in accordance with the Whip. I think that the last time I defied the Whip was on the question of same-sex adoption rules. I see part of my role as having been elected as a Conservative. A number of Members have said, perfectly reasonably, that we are primarily and overwhelmingly...

Bill Presented — General Practitioner Surgeries (Rural Areas) Bill: Recall of MPs Bill (21 Oct 2014)

Andrew Lansley: The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right. We are not delegates or ciphers; we are representatives. As Members have rightly said, we owe our constituents our judgment and our conscience and we are here to represent their interests, but we should not necessarily subordinate any of that to their opinions or, still less, to some calculation of what might be their opinions. It is very difficult to...

Bill Presented — General Practitioner Surgeries (Rural Areas) Bill: Recall of MPs Bill (21 Oct 2014)

Andrew Lansley: As I understand it, my hon. Friend’s alternative approach would enable a recall petition to be triggered for any reason. Will he explain at what point somebody who might be the subject not of a political complaint, but of allegations relating to their personal affairs, their conduct in this House, or conduct that might be the subject of a criminal investigation, would be subject to a...

Bill Presented — General Practitioner Surgeries (Rural Areas) Bill: Recall of MPs Bill (21 Oct 2014)

Andrew Lansley: Although the decision to suspend a Member is one for this House, the effective trigger for that process is a recommendation from the Standards Committee. Does my right hon. Friend therefore agree that it is important not only that we recognise that it results from an independent inquiry by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, but that in the current review we strengthen the lay...


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