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14.10.14

Labour to boycott committee on ‘English votes for English laws’

The Labour party has announced its intention to boycott cross-party discussions on ‘English votes for English laws’, calling the issue a “Westminster stitch-up”.

The announcement came in a Commons debate today on devolution following the no vote in the Scottish referendum. As the debate opened, Labour announced it would refuse an invitation from leader of the Commons, William Hague, to contribute to the work of his Cabinet committee.

A Labour spokesperson said: “We will not be participating in a Westminster stitch-up. We think we need a constitutional convention so we can hear from all voices in England.”

The Lib Dems, who have seats on the Cabinet committee, agree that it is right to limit the ability of Scottish MPs to vote on English-only matters. But they say that a committee of English MPs, which would have a veto over such legislation, should be appointed on the basis of the parties’ overall vote share rather than the number of MPs they have at Westminster.

Before the debate today Nick Clegg addressed Parliament and said that he agrees with Labour’s proposal for a constitutional convention on devolution. Under Labour’s plans this would be appointed in the autumn of next year and would involve the input of a broad range of people across the UK.

Neither Clegg, nor the heads of the other two top Westminster parties attended today’s debate.

(Image: c. Robert Pittman)

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email opininon@publicsectorexecutive.com

Comments

Mike Allen   20/10/2014 at 23:27

Considering the Labour Party "stitched up" the UK vote so that Labour gets 20 more seats than Tories On an equal national vote and that Nick Clegg's petulantly reneged on a Coalition attempt to put this right, why should anyone expect that these parties would have a sensible approach to Constitutional reform?

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