Another long day

Yesterday was another long day.  Here are a few super-tweets:

Breakfast meeting with a graduate student.

Constitution Committee: we take evidence from Lord Jay, chair of the House of Lords Appointments Commission.  He says they are considering being proactive in identifying people to fill any gaps that are identified in the knowledge of the House.

To the chamber for debate on Commons messages on the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill.  The Commons disagreed with out amendment on a 40% turnout threshold in the referendum.  Lord Rooker moves a motion to insist on our amendment.   Debate favours his motion.  The Government lose by 277 to 215.  27 Conservatives, including me, vote for the motion.

I spend an hour recording an interview for BBC Parliament.  They will be screening programmes over the summer on the Parliament Act 1911 and what has happened to the House in the century since.   I leave forgetting to remove my make-up.

Back to the chamber for the second vote on the PVSC Bill.  The Commons rejected the Lords amendment allowing for some variation in the size of constituency electorates beyond +/- 5% of the electoral quota.  This time the Government win by a majority of one – 242 votes to 241.

Then off to a Hansard Society meeting to discuss strategy for their flagship journal, Parliamentary Affairs.  

Meeting finishes at 4.30.  Shortly afterwards, I get a (very) late lunch in the Bishop’s Bar.

Chair the weekly seminar of my students.  Craig Beaumont, from London 2012, speaks on the Olympics and Parliament.  Baroness Grey-Thompson sits in on the meeting.

Back to the chamber at 10.30 to consider the Commons response to our insistence on the amendment on the threshold.  The Commons rejected it earlier in the evening by an even bigger majority than first time round.  This time, we decide not to insist on the amendment.  The Government wins by 221 to 153. 

Back into the chamber at 11.45 p.m. for Royal Assent.   About 40 peers are present to hear the Lord Speaker announce that the PSVC Bill is now an Act.

I get an indication from different reliable sources that the Government may be about to make further concessions on the Public Bodies Bill. 

I get away about midnight.

About Lord Norton

Professor of Government at Hull University, and Member of the House of Lords
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9 Responses to Another long day

  1. Frank W. Summers III says:

    Lord Norton,
    All things being aproximately equal I look forward to reading with increasing frequency your reportage, thoughts and plans related to the Olympics. I see this slowly growing stream has now found its spring…

    • Lord Norton says:

      Frank W. Summers III: I think this is a case of saying ‘don’t hold your breath…’.

      • franksummers3ba says:

        Lord Norton,

        Is that an indication that you think it possible to hold a post in London itself and not become at all involved in the Olympics or is it a more subtle play on my stream metaphor?

      • Lord Norton says:

        Frank W. Summers III: There was no intended subtlety…
        I gather some parliamentarians are quite keen on going to watch the beach volleyball on Horseguards’ Parade.

      • franksummers3ba says:

        Lord Norton,

        I must say that sounds like it might be fun. Games don’t last forever. In time they become the most respectable of memories…

  2. ladytizzy says:

    Not sure how one considers becoming proactive, but no matter. Will Lord Jay also consider putting up a list of members’ strengths that will allow the public to enjoy this knowledge that lobbying groups use? And, though this might be one step too far, to encourage peers to put up as full a list as is decent, perhaps they should be prevented from joining Committees, APPGs, and similar, if they have not declared a previous interest.

    In today’s ‘all is transparent’ mantra, this might help with the HoL image.

    • Lord Norton says:

      ladytizzy: All peers’ interests should be in the register anyway. If they want to join all-party groups, serve on committees etc. then relevant interests will already be on the public record. The proactive reference means that the Commission would not simply wait for nominations to come in from peers in areas where it was felt there was a knowledge gap to be filled but rather itself seek to identify people who could be approached and encouraged to put their names forward.

  3. tory boy says:

    Can you tell me which bill had the proposal in it, to allow the public to recall their MP if they were unhappy with them? Is it still present in the said bill or has it been dropped?

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