» Monday, August 6, 2012

House of Lords reform

Asked if the boundary review was dead, the PMOS told the journalists that they should wait for the announcement from the Deputy Prime Minister later that day. He reminded them that each Boundary Commission would present final recommendations in Autumn 2013 and the issue would then return to the House of Commons.

Asked if there was enough time to legislate for any changes to constituency boundaries before the next election, the PMOS replied that the process and parliamentary timetable were designed with that objective in mind.

Asked whether the Prime Minister had discussed with Nick Clegg and other senior Lib Dems their threat to vote down any changes proposed, the PMOS said again that the Boundary Commissions would report back in 2013 after they had completed their work.

When asked about potential whipping arrangements, the PMOS said that the process was still ongoing and we would need to wait until recommendations were received. Asked if boundary reform remained a Government commitment, the PMOS replied that it was a Government policy and in the Coalition Agreement.

Asked if the Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) still took the view that it was vital for democracy that it was passed, particularly the equalisation of constituency sizes, the PMOS told journalists again that they should wait for the DPM’s announcement later that day.

Asked whether the PM had abided by the Coalition Agreement, the PMOS said that the Coalition Agreement included a number of constitutional and political reforms, one of which was to reduce the number of constituencies and equalise their size, in order to ensure that people’s votes had equal weight. The PM’s position was that he had wanted to move towards a mainly elected House of Lords. A majority of MPs had voted in support of that in the House of Commons, but it was not possible to move forward without consensus and cross party support.

Asked if the PM or DPM had talked to the Leader of the Opposition in the recent days or weeks ahead of today’s announcement, the PMOS said he did not believe there had been any recent discussions with the Leader of the Opposition on this issue.

Asked why the PM was not making a joint statement with the DPM, the PMOS said the House of Lords Reform Bill was one which the DPM was taking through the House of Commons.

original source.

Briefing took place at 15:45 | Search for related news

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