Pre-legislative Scrutiny

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 9:30 am on 6th January 2004.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Richard Allan Mr Richard Allan Shadow Spokesperson (Business, Innovation and Skills), Shadow Spokesperson (Trade and Industry) 9:30 am, 6th January 2004

To assist the hon. Gentleman on that point, another example of online consultation was that carried out on stem cell research by the House of Lord Select Committee. One would have expected that consultation to be subject to much lobbying, as the pro-life lobbies are very effective at putting their case, but it did not happen. It is my understanding that, unlike the open e-mail system, it is inherent in the online consultation system that such lobbying can be prevented. People have to register and go through various stages in order to access the system to express their views, which discourages everyone except those who have something serious to say. It is quite different from an open e-mail address where there will be a huge number of responses—the equivalent of thousands of postcards.