2017-09-12 07:51:52 UTC
On Tuesday 12 September 2017, Theresa May will try to pass a law which
Jeremy Corbyn has called an “unprecedented attempt to rig parliament and
Have you been wondering what all the fuss is about? If so, a lawyer’s
viral video has nailed the PM’s plans to the wall. And he takes just two
minutes to bust her.
As The Canary previously reported, Tory MP Andrea Leadsom has proposed a
motion which would effectively give the Conservative government the
majority power on all House of Commons committees.
Currently, committees with nine members have four Conservative, four
Labour and one SNP MPs on them. This is because they reflect the outcomes
of general elections. But Leadsom’s motion would change this, giving the
Tories five members; therefore, a majority. As The Huffington Post
reported, the motion says that:
where a committee has an odd number of members, the government shall have
a majority. [And] where a committee has an even number of members, the
number of government and opposition members shall be equal, but this
instruction shall not apply to the nomination of any public bill
committee [which hammers out the guts of legislation].
So effectively, Leadsom is trying to take power of all important House of
Commons committees; ensuring that the Conservatives can push through laws
in the form they want.
Nailed to the wall
But now, lawyer and campaigner Peter Stefanovic has attacked what he
calls May and Leadsom’s attempt to “steal democracy” and “seize control”.
Let’s be clear on this. These are committees made up of MPs who
scrutinise legislation. Any attempt to change the make-up of these
committees to give the government a majority is an affront to democracy.
It’ll make it harder, if not impossible, for opposition MPs to block laws
that affect all our lives… May is effectively planning to sideline all
Campaigners have also started a petition against the attempted power
grab. It has already reached over 100,000 signatures.
And ITV News Political Editor Robert Peston also called it an attempt by
May to “rig” parliament, saying:
It is now a case of consensus conshmensus. With the aid of her most
important minister… she will attempt to rule by diktat via the gaming of
The motion is concerning; not least because committees often draw up the
details of laws. So in theory, the guts of the Repeal Bill, which decides
which EU law is passed into UK legislation after Brexit, could be decided
by Tories, and no one else. But what Leadsom’s motion shows is the
disregard the Conservatives have for true democratic process in the UK.
And it also demonstrates a worrying lurch towards the worst authoritarian
tendencies of May and her minority government.