Peers scrap hundreds of ancient laws in minutes


Peers took just minutes tonight to back the repeal of hundreds of outdated laws, stretching back over nearly 700 years.

The Statute Law (Repeals) Bill was given an unopposed second reading with Opposition support.

Justice minister Lord McNally said it was part of the Government's move to scrap "obsolete and unnecessary" laws.

The Bill proposes the repeal of more than 800 Acts and the part repeal of 50 other Acts, making it the largest statute law repeals Bill ever produced by the Law Commission.

It covers subjects as wide ranging as poor relief, lotteries, turnpikes and Indian railways, he said.

The earliest repeal was of legislation from around 1322 and another, from 1696, concerned an Act passed to fund the rebuilding of St Paul's Cathedral after the "great fire" of 1666.

Lord McNally said the Bill also repealed a number of unnecessary tax provisions, include one enacted only two years ago.