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Oliver Heald, MP Writes for the Campaign March 24, 2006

Posted by bill111 in Politics.

I met Minister Jim Murphy MP on 21st March to discuss whether a veto might be given to Select Committees to stop laws being changed by Ministerial Order, if the Bill goes through. He is meeting other parties too and we will have to see what he comes up with. But even if he makes this change, more is needed.

I came to the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill wanting it to be an effective tool to tackle deregulation. There is too much red tape on business, particularly small business, and the British Chambers of Commerce have recently shown that the burden has gone up by £50 billion since 1997. The Government claimed the Bill would cut this.

So, I was genuinely surprised to find that the Bill had nothing in it about deregulation, but instead allowed Ministers to change any law by Order and even to push it through without debate. This cannot be allowed to stand. Business is becoming increasingly wary and calling for safeguards. The public are rightly worried about a Bill, which would allow changes to really important constitutional laws like the length of Parliaments, Habeas Corpus or terrorism legislation without proper debate. Two powerful Commons’ Committees have called for changes to the Bill.

I have tabled key amendments to be debated after Easter and am pushing the Minister to accept them or put up his own amendments. The Bill should be about deregulation and should not allow controversial changes to the law without proper debate.

Lord Grocott the Government Chief Whip in the House of Lords has apparently warned the Prime Minister that if major changes are not made now “we are missing our last opportunity to avoid likely defeat”.

Labour veteran David Winnick MP has warned of Labour fears about the measure. The TUC are also concerned that the power might be used against their interests in the longer term. The Minister says he is listening, but the time has come for action – changes to the Bill to provide proper safeguards. If he does not act decisively the Conservatives will vote against the Bill.

Oliver Heald MP, Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster


1. Spy Blog - March 30, 2006

Oliver Heald MP writes to Spy Blog re the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill

Oliver Heald the Conservative Member of Parliament for North East Hertfordshire, has written to Spy Blog asking for his article on the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill to be published. We are happy to do so, and also welcome comments…

2. The Abolition of Parliament on Conservative Home » Murky Blog - December 13, 2008

[…] not make its way through the Commons. Mr Heald has taken a lead role in opposing this bill and has written on the subject and even called upon voters to take […]

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