» Saturday, July 3, 2010

AV Referendum

When asked if the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister would be campaigning on the frontline, the PMS said that the Prime Minister had set out his position in the past on this and that he would be campaigning against AV. The Deputy Prime Minister was free to campaign for AV.

Asked if MPs would be whipped on the legislation, the PMS replied that both parties would support the Bill, but there was then a question of how they would campaign after that.

On whether there was any concern within Government about the 2007 Scottish precedent when two ballots were held on the same day, the PMS said that the Government had not made an announcement on timing of the referendum, but we would of course take into account previous experience.

Asked if the Prime Minister would play an active role in campaigning, the PMS said that the Prime Minister had answered questions on this in the past and had been very clear about his position; during the campaign the Prime Minister would be asked his view and he would express it.

On whether Ministers believed the Electoral Commission had an advisory or mandatory role in this case as in the past it had advised against having a referendum on the same day as other elections, the PMS replied that we would take into account advice and previous experience on this, but as of now we had made no announcement on timing.

Put that the Prime Minister expressing his view made it sound like he wasn’t that bothered, the PMS said that the Prime Minister had been very clear on this. The PMS said he could not predict precisely how the campaign would unfold, but clearly the Prime Minister would be asked his views during that campaign and he would make them clear.

On whether the Prime Minister regarded it as a Grade A issue alongside cutting the deficit, the PMS said that this was one of the first issues agreed as part of the Coalition agreement and was part of the first Coalition document.

Asked if there had been any consultation with devolved administrations on timing, the PMS replied that he did not know what the process had been, but it was being led by the Deputy Prime Minister.

When asked if a referendum had been fully costed, the PMS replied that a statement was anticipated from the Deputy Prime Minister. There would then be a bill and we should wait for that bill to go through Parliament. The PMS said that no doubt there would be lots of opportunities for the arrangements for a referendum to be debated during the passage of that bill.

Put that the referendum had not been costed at all, the PMS replied that the normal procedure was for these issues to be raised and discussed during the passage of the bill. Put that it was sensible to put a ballpark figure on it, the PMS said the precise arrangements for a referendum would be discussed during the debate in the House.

Put that the precise arrangements for a referendum were already enshrined in legislation from 2000 and would the AV bill change that, the PMS said that all these issues were going to be discussed. There would no doubt be a long debate within Parliament and outside once the bill had been introduced. Issues such as the cost of a referendum would be raised in that context.

Asked if it was still the assumption that the bill enabling the referendum would also contain within it measures to change constituency boundaries, the PMS replied that those were the terms of the announcement in the Queen’s Speech and they remained the same.

Asked if people could expect many Tory MPs to vote against the bill, the PMS said that it was not for him to comment on the voting intentions of individual Tory MPs. Asked if the bill would be whipped, the PMS said it was a Government bill. Subsequent to that, if the bill was passed, there would be a campaign and people were entitled to campaign as they saw fit.

Asked if MPs would be whipped on all aspects of it such as the timing and the cost, the PMS replied that members of the Governing party or parties, were whipped to support Government bills and the provisions of those bills.

Asked if the next election would have to take place under AV if there was a yes vote in the referendum, or would the delay caused by boundary reviews mean that the next election would still be on the first past the post system, the PMS replied that he had said in the past that these two issues were linked, but on the detail, people would need to wait for the statement.

original source.

Briefing took place at 5:52 | Search for related news

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Post a public comment

(You must give an email address, but it will not be displayed to the public.)
(You may give your website, and it will be displayed to the public.)


This is not a way of contacting the Prime Minister. If you would like to contact the Prime Minister, go to the 10 Downing Street official site.

Privacy note: Shortly after posting, your name and comment will be displayed on the site. This means that people searching for your name on the Internet will be able to find and read your comment.

Downing Street Says...

The unofficial site which lets you comment on the UK Prime Minister's official briefings. About us...


July 2010
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
« Jun   Aug »

Supported by


Disruptive Proactivity

Recent Briefings



Syndicate (RSS/XML)



Contact Sam Smith.

This site is powered by WordPress. Theme by Jag Singh