Hunting Bill among seven statutes abandoned in deal with Tory whips

Click to follow
Indy Politics

Seven bills have been dropped as the Government scrambles to rush outstanding legislation through Parliament before the general election.

Seven bills have been dropped as the Government scrambles to rush outstanding legislation through Parliament before the general election.

Abandoned legislation includes the controversial Bill to outlaw hunting with hounds, which had been expected to fall before the election. Legislation to ban tobacco advertising will also be dropped under a deal thrashed out by government and opposition whips.

Other Bills that will not complete their parliamentary stages are the Homes Bill, which aimed to stop "gazumping" by forcing house-sellers to produce a buyers' pack. The International Development Bill, the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Bill, the Culture and Recreation Bill, and the Adoption and Children Bill, which has not yet cleared the Commons, will fall too.

The announcement came after hours of horse-trading between the whips to decide which of the outstanding measures would become law before Parliament is formally dissolved on Monday.

Nine Bills will be given time to become law. MPs and peers will sit until Friday. Because of the short time remaining, government legislation can become law only with the agreement of Tory and Liberal Democrat peers.

Lord Carter, the Chief Whip in the Lords, said three Bills would complete their Lords stages today. Peers will debate the Criminal Justice and Police Bill; the Children's Commissioner for Wales Bill; and the House of Commons (Removal of Clergy Disqualification) Bill, which will allow a former Roman Catholic priest to stand for election for Labour in Greenock and Inverclyde.

Tomorrow peers will complete work on the Armed Forces Bill, which renews the services discipline Acts, and the Social Security Contributions (Share Options) Bill. They will also take all stages of the Rating (Former Agricultural Premises and Rural Shops) Bill, giving rate relief to rural businesses, the Finance Bill and the Consolidated Fund Bill.

The Lords will then debate any Commons amendments to the Health and Social Care Bill, a strong indication that ministers intend to reverse a Lords vote that would, in effect, halt the planned abolition of Community Health Councils. Friday is reserved for any further amendments from the Commons, and Royal Assent.

Lord Henley, the Conservatives' Chief Whip in the Lords, blamed the loss of the seven Bills on the fact that the general election was a year sooner than it need have been, that the session had started late, that some Bills had begun late and that MPs had been allowed a half-term break.

Comments