As my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister made clear to the House on 3 September, the Government consider that the provisions of the Bill do not address the issues that make reform of the House of Lords necessary.
I suppose I am not surprised that the Deputy Prime Minister did not answer that question himself. He will be aware, probably more than most, that there are some gaps in the legislative programme for this Session of Parliament. Will he therefore arrange for Lord Steel’s Bill to come before this House and allow adequate time for discussion of that modest but useful measure, rather than allow the best to be the enemy of the good?
Does my hon. Friend agree that now we appear to have sent House of Lords reform off into the distance we should be using any parliamentary time available to concentrate on the most important thing, which is getting growth back into our economy?
Nevertheless, does the Minister not agree that in spite of the foundering of the House of Lords Reform Bill there are still many residual issues on Lords reform for which there is all-party support and that there is no reason for the House or the Government not to accept that those reforms can be brought forward?