Politics: Lords' block for Mayor

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The Independent Online
The Government is facing defeat in the House of Lords over its plans for an elected mayor and assembly for London, a senior Liberal Democrat peer claimed yesterday.

Lord Tope, who leads his party on the Association of London Government, said he would be "astonished" if plans for a single-question referendum on the subject next May were not overturned. The Government wants simply to ask Londoners if they want an elected mayor and assembly, rather than allowing them the chance to say what sort of democracy they want for the capital.

Lord Tope said that Labour Peers, unlike MPs, would not be under so much pressure to toe the party line. "If the Bill gets to the Lords ... then I would be very surprised indeed if it gets through the Lords," he said.

Nick Raynsford, the minister responsible for the measures, said Londoners could not have an assembly without a mayor or a mayor without an assembly. "It is not a lucky dip and it is not a pick and mix," he said.