Parliamentary Committees

Thank you for your email of 11th September.

As a result of the supply and Confidence Agreement with the DUP, the Government has a reliable majority on the floor of the House and can therefore be confident of reversing any unwelcome amendments made in Committee when Bills reach their Report Stage.

Accordingly, the only purpose that the Opposition can have in seeking to deprive the Government of a majority in the Committee Stages is to slow down the process of legislation – presumably in the hope of creating disarray in the Government’s legislative programme.

Whilst this is an understandable tactic for an opposition to adopt, I don’t think this is in the best interests of the country.

This is no doubt why, when Labour was in office with a minority some while back, it arranged to have a majority in the Committee Stages in just the way that is now being proposed. Such is the change that occurs when parties move from Government to Opposition!

Thank you again for contacting me