» Monday, January 31, 2011

AV Bill

Asked if the Prime Minister was still confident of getting the Bill through in time, the PMS said there was not a great deal to add on what we had already said on this. The PMS said no doubt there would be discussions during the course of today and this evening and he did not want to pre-empt them. The Government remained committed to pushing this legislation through.

The PMS added that the Lords rightly had a role of reviewing and scrutinising legislation. If they had specific proposals on any of the proposals the Government had set out, they could vote on them, but at the moment they didn’t appear to be having many votes.

Put that there were reports this morning that the Government would introduce a guillotine’ motion either this evening or tomorrow if it had not been resolved, the PMS replied that we would see how things went today and then take stock this afternoon and this evening.

Put that the PMS had said last week that the guillotine’ was not an option and had the position now changed, the PMS replied that we were still considering our options; if the Lords had particular views on particular aspects of the Bill then they might want to vote on them.

Asked why the two proposals needed to be passed in the same Bill, the PMS replied that the Government had set out a large programme of political reform. These were two priority areas for the Government which was why they were being legislated for first. The PMS said that they were both in the same Bill and we would be sticking to that.

Put that the Lords were sending a very clear message to the Prime Minister, the PMS said that their role was to review and scrutinise legislation. There had been a lot of debate, but not much voting on specifics.

Put that the PMS had set out what the role of the Lords was and would he set out what their role wasn’t, the PMS replied that he had set out what their role was. Asked if the Prime Minister was confident that he had a majority for a possible guillotine’, the PMS said that we would take stock during the course of the day.

Put that it was also the role of the Lords to delay legislation, the PMS said that this was not a very complicated set of proposals. There was a referendum on AV and the equalisation of constituencies, but we had now seen over 80 hours of debate on that and it did not seem to be going anywhere.

The PMS added that the Government would like the Bill to go through because it would be cheaper to hold the referendum on the original day.

original source.

Briefing took place at 10:00 | Search for related news

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