The Fixed-term Parliaments Bill had its Second Reading yesterday. In my speech, I was concerned with process as well as with substance. The Bill was being rushed and the Government’s response to the Constitution Committee report on the Bill was, to put it mildy, rushed and somewhat inadequate – rather like the Bill itself. On the substance, I expressed concerns especially about the definition of a vote of no confidence, or rather the lack of a definition. You can read the speech here.
The Bill did not attract many speeches in its support. Concerns were expressed in all parts of the House about the haste with which it was being introduced. There is no obvious need to rush and time needs to be taken to get the content right. I put several questions to the minister, the usually sure-footed Lord Wallace of Tankerness, but in his reply he managed to respond to only one. It will be interesting to see if he writes to respond to my questions, but his silence spoke volumes….