All 1 Lord Redesdale contributions to the Elections Act 2022

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Mon 28th Mar 2022
Elections Bill
Lords Chamber

Lords Hansard - Part 1

Elections Bill Debate

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Department: Leader of the House
Lord Sherbourne of Didsbury Portrait Lord Sherbourne of Didsbury (Con)
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My Lords, I support the noble Lords, Lord Dubs and Lord Rennard. I am not going to repeat the arguments; I support them, and the House has heard them. This anomaly can be dealt with without opening the Pandora’s box of reform of the House of Lords. I spoke in support of the Private Member’s Bill of the noble Lord, Lord Naseby, and I heard the then Minister’s answer. I do not want to be too presumptuous, but I think I can hear the Minister’s response already, with all the same arguments rolled out. I simply ask him one question: what is the practical downside of accepting this amendment? What is the danger? What is the risk?

Lord Redesdale Portrait Lord Redesdale (LD)
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My Lords, I also apologise for not speaking on Second Reading; I was unable to. I was not planning on speaking in this debate, but the noble Lord, Lord Cormack, raised the point of some of us being here permanently. I have been here a mere 30 years, but I cannot actually see the fact that I have been here 30 years as a legislator making that much difference to the country. I would love to say that being a Back-Bench Liberal Democrat is the bedrock of our whole system, but I cannot really put that forward. When I came here, it was the mantra that only Lords, lunatics and criminals could not vote, but that is no longer the case—though it depends on what bracket you put us in.

I have one question for the Minister. I am standing as a candidate in the local election, and my wife is standing as the agent for the Liberal Democrats in Islington. The complexity of the forms you have to fill in, with the understanding of the minutiae and detail, is incredibly difficult. What is the cost to the country of us being taken off the electoral register? Everybody has to be trained; it has to go through the whole system; it has to be part of the process. The cost is not insignificant for 800 people to be treated in a different category. Of course, it goes into a number of different areas. If the Minister could give us an indication of just how much our privilege of being taken off the register, so we can carry on with this view that we are a permanent part of the process, would cost, and whether that is worth it, I would be very interested.

Lord Rooker Portrait Lord Rooker (Lab)
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My Lords, I have a question—and I did not come in to speak either. Since I have been a Member of this House, which is 20 years, there is at least one Member—I think only one—who was here when I arrived, subsequently got elected to the other place and is now back here. Yes, he is here today. At the time that he left this place and got elected to the other place, was he able to vote in the election he stood in? I am not sure what his status would have been.