The Wales Bill, presently completing its passage through the Lords, prohibits anyone from serving as both an MP and as a member of the National Assembly for Wales. The provision (clause 3) was agreed between the parties and was about to go through without debate. I put down an amendment to remove the clause. I am against outlawing dual mandates on the grounds that they infringe the freedom of electors to choose who they want to represent them. If they are happy to have the same person represent them in more than one assembly, that is a matter for them. It may be difficult to carry out both roles – the practical argument (advanced by assertion) used to justify the clause – but that is a matter between electors and elected, not something to be forbidden by law.
You can read my speech here. As you will see, no one really engaged with the issue of principle, other than in one case trying to translate the difficulties of the jobs into a matter of principle. I knew I would not get anywhere – the responses were pretty much what I indicated would be the case – but I hope my intervention gives pause for thought. At least afterwards some peers did recognise what I was getting at and also appreciated that there is a value in having members who can keep one legislature aware of what is happening in another.