I have just had an answer to a question I tabled a couple of weeks ago. I asked the Government “further to the answer by Lord McNally on 1 December (HL Deb. col. 1474), what is the empirical basis for the claim that the House of Commons has come to ‘a settled and consistent view’ on the need to reform the House of Lords.”
The answer from Lord McNally is: “In March 2007, the House of Commons voted in favour of a fully or substantially (80%) elected second chamber, and against a wholly appointed second chamber. In addition, all three main political parties committed in their Manifestos to reform of the House of Lords. The Government believes that it should move forward on this issue.”
The only problem with this answer is that whatever it is an answer to it is clearly not my question. The last two sentences have no relevance to the question and it is not clear how MPs voted on one particular occasion can constitute a settled and consistent view of the House of Commons without placing on those words a weight they cannot bear.
Any suggestions for a follow-up question?