Lords pause on boundaries
The leader of the House of Lords has put on hold plans to debate boundary changes, after a surprise Lib Dem move to kill off the changes until 2018.
Peers were today due to discuss the Electoral Registration and Administration Bill, but Lord Strathclyde told them today it was not on the agenda after all.
"It became apparent to me in the course of yesterday evening that the advice of the public bill office to the noble Lord Hart was that his amendment was inadmissible and should not be tabled because it was not relevant to the bill...
“I would prefer an informed debate next week to an ill-informed disorderly row today.”
It comes after PoliticsHome revealed that David Cameron berated Nick Clegg over the actions of Lib Dem peers, including Lord Rennard, who signed a Labour amendment postponing any boundary review until 2018.
The Hart/Rennard decision, first discovered by Downing Street after it appeared on The Waugh Room
yesterday, prompted an urgent meeting between the two men.
It is understood the Deputy Prime Minister told Mr Cameron he was following through on his pledge to oppose the changes.
The Prime Minister's Official Spokesman did not deny that the two men had disagreed over boundary changes. Asked today if there had been a bust-up last night, he said: "I'm sure they have discussed this issue on a number of occasions."
The announcement by Lord Strathclyde, which Labour peers believe the Prime Minister is behind, prompted concern from Baroness Royall, Labour's leader in the House of Lords. She said: "At the heart of this issue today is not the merits of the amendment. It is about who determines this House’s business – the Leader, or this House."