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Parliamentary Constituencies (Amendment) Bill (Twenty Ninth sitting)

Debated on Wednesday 27 March 2019

The Committee consisted of the following Members:

Chairs: † Ms Nadine Dorries, Albert Owen

Allan, Lucy (Telford) (Con)

Bone, Mr Peter (Wellingborough) (Con)

† Charalambous, Bambos (Enfield, Southgate) (Lab)

† Fletcher, Colleen (Coventry North East) (Lab)

† Foster, Kevin (Torbay) (Con)

Harper, Mr Mark (Forest of Dean) (Con)

† Khan, Afzal (Manchester, Gorton) (Lab)

Lee, Karen (Lincoln) (Lab)

Linden, David (Glasgow East) (SNP)

Matheson, Christian (City of Chester) (Lab)

Mills, Nigel (Amber Valley) (Con)

Norris, Alex (Nottingham North) (Lab/Co-op)

Paisley, Ian (North Antrim) (DUP)

† Smith, Chloe (Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office)

Stewart, Bob (Beckenham) (Con)

Wiggin, Bill (North Herefordshire) (Con)

Adam Mellows-Facer, Committee Clerk

† attended the Committee

Public Bill Committee

Wednesday 27 March 2019

[Ms Nadine Dorries in the Chair]

Parliamentary Constituencies (Amendment) Bill

As the Committee cannot consider the Bill until the House has agreed a money resolution, I call Afzal Khan to move that the Committee do now adjourn.

I beg to move, That the Committee do now adjourn.

Events have taken an interesting turn this week, notably with the Government’s defeat on Monday, which gave Parliament control of the Order Paper. The Government have officially lost control. Interestingly, throughout the Brexit process, I have seen the Prime Minister raise the importance of respecting and upholding democracy.

I will remind the Committee of what my Bill sets out to do. It would fix the number of MPs at 650 and ensure that boundary changes include the 2 million people who have registered to vote since 2015. Maintaining the number of MPs and ensuring that boundaries have equal numbers of voters in each seat would guarantee free and fair elections, which are essential to the democratic process. At a time when democracy is thought to be under threat, achieving those objectives has never been more important. On that note, would the Minister care to provide an update, please?

Adjourned till Wednesday 24 April at Ten o’clock.