Skip to main content

Parliamentary procedure and the youth parliament

John O Shea has written about the events of Monday night. It is worth understanding some aspects of this issue.

There is a small group of MPs (numbering about 20-25) who don't think the Youth parliament should be allowed to meet once a year in the House of Commons Chamber.

There is an interesting question behind this as to whether the reducing respect for institutions is partially affected by the reducing respect for the fabric of the buildings in which the institutions are sited or indeed the obverse. My own personal view, however, is that like having the proceedings in The House reported, on the radio and televised and similar to allowing tours of The House - having the Youth Parliament meet in the chamber (when it is not used) is a good thing not a bad thing.

The debate was after 10pm so it needed a vote to allow it to proceed. The decision, however, was a deferred division and would be cast on paper (a pink slip) on wednesday's after Prime Ministers question time.

The key point, however, is that if during the debate there was a vote and below the quorum of MPs (40) voted then the motion would fall and not be considered in a deferred division.

To move a closure motion, however, requires at least 100 MPs voting for closure. (A closure motion is where the house votes that the question be now put - it closes down debate.)

I went home at about 11.30pm having been told that a closure motion would not be moved, but as Philip Davies droned on through the night it was decided to move a closure motion. Luckily enough people had remained on the estate to pass it.

The divisions were:
To have the debatefor: 139 against: 10
Closure for: 103 against: 3
Yesterday's deferred division on whether or not to allow the youth parliament to meet was 499 to 21. It is in Hansard here

There are a couple of interesting further points about the closure division. Whereas it is listed as being 103 to 3, in fact there are only 102 names listed as voting aye. Furthermore the three that voted no also voted aye. This is a "both" which is effectively an abstention. Without their votes and if the list of names reconciled with the number counted then in fact the closure motion would have fallen.

The rules are that it is the tellers count that matters not the list of names. It is entirely possible for someone to vote without being listed on the list of names. At the same time the tellers can also miscount. (That is why there are two tellers doing the count on each lobby, one for the ayes and one for the noes - normally the government whips do the counting and the opposition do the checking).

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Homelessness vs Selling Books

Candidates in elections tend to find themselves very busy with lots of things to do.  It is, therefore, necessary to prioritise things to ensure that the important things are dealt with.

To me the issue of homelessness and rough sleeping is an important issue.  Therefore, when Birmingham's Faith Leaders group contacted me to ask me what I would propose and whether I would work with them to make things better I was pleased to respond with my views and indicate that I would work with them after the election.

The Faith Leaders Group (Bishops and other religious leaders in Birmingham) have now sent out their report.

Sadly, according to their report,  I was the only candidate for Yardley to respond.  The group in their report said:

"Particularly disappointing was the lack of response from some of those candidates seeking re-election as MP for their respective constituencies."
It is worth looking at the priorities of my opponent.
Interestingly today she has decided to be at th…

Millionaires and politics

The Labour Party spent most of the last election criticising me for being a successful businessman (aka millionaire). That is business in the private sector employing over 250 people. It is worth looking at the situation for the Labour Candidate now:

For the year 2016-7 Annual Income from Parliament74,962Specifically for her book51,250Other media income etc5,322.82Total declared income131,534.82

Traditionally anyone with an annual income of over £100,000 has been considered to be a millionaire. I did not use my position in parliament to increase my income.


I have been asked for sources for this. This BBC piece looks at how one should define rich. It was written in 2011 so the figures will be slightly out of date. There are perhaps 2 relevant pieces:
"In 1880 a rich person would have had £100,000 in assets or an income of £10,000 a year, he says. About a hundred people a year died leaving £100,000 and by 1910 this was 250 - "a microscopic fraction of the number of death…

The Labour Candidate's Book Promotion Tour and Why It Matters

In the 2015 General Election the Labour Candidate criticised John Hemming for having an external interest and made a pledge that she would be a "Full Time MP for Yardley and my only other job will be mom & carer ...".  Here is a copy of that pledge:


Since that point she has been working on paid Television Programmes and has also written a book. John Hemming has made no secret of the fact that he chairs the board of the company he founded in 1983. This involves one meeting a month. When he was the MP for Yardley he was a full time MP and the Job of being MP for Yardley came first. The Labour candidate has reported 1,274 hours of work other than being an MP in the two years she has been elected and her income in the last year was over £131,000.

Ignoring the question as to how she reconciles that with her "pledge" the question is raised as to what extent her external activity conflicts with the role of Member of Parliament for Yardley. She is supposed to de…