Greater London Authority (Referendum) Bill — 26 Nov 1997
Order for Third Reading read.
I beg to move, That the Bill be now read the Third time.
This Government were elected on a clear manifesto commitment that, following a referendum to confirm popular demand, they would establish a new deal for London: a Greater London authority made up of a directly elected mayor and an elected assembly. We made that commitment because we believe that London deserves better--better than having its democratic institutions summarily abolished, better than the shabby mish-mash of unaccountable quangos and committees that were set up by the previous Government in place of a democratic citywide authority, better than to be left with no effective, democratically accountable voice for 11 years.
We share with the people of London a desire to put things right and to give them back a democratic voice that will provide strategic leadership--something that the people of London should never have been denied. However, we see no benefit in simply looking back and trying to create what once was. What we propose will be different from the sort of institution that might have been appropriate to the London of the 1880s or the 1960s--that is inevitable.
We are proposing a new democratic settlement for London, one capable of taking our capital into the next millennium. That is why we believe that London needs a mayor, directly elected by and personally accountable to its people. We believe that such a figure would reinvigorate local democracy, and provide strong leadership across the capital.
We believe that London also needs an elected assembly, to question and scrutinise the mayor, holding him or her to account; to advise on London's needs and priorities; and to scrutinise the use of public funds across the capital.
Together, the mayor and the assembly will make up a new Greater London authority, which will be capable of commanding the support and respect of the whole of London.
What we are proposing is innovative, and I recognise that change and innovation are unsettling to some. I warned on Monday of the constitutional conservatives in all parties who may seek to oppose our proposals because they find them challenging--perhaps they are scared of change, or perhaps they want simply to preserve the status quo.
We have heard a lot of cant from the Opposition about the need for two questions, and not for the first time. We have explained our position patiently and repeatedly, on Second Reading, in Committee and yesterday in answer to a parliamentary question from the hon. Member
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for Sutton and Cheam (Mr. Burstow). If necessary, I shall do so again now. I am sure that, yet again, our opponents will pretend not to listen.
I beg to move, to leave out from "That" to the end of the Question and to add instead thereof:
"this House declines to give a Third Reading to the Greater London Authority (Referendum) Bill because, while it looks ahead to the establishment of both a directly-elected Assembly and a directly-elected Mayor for London, it fails to provide the citizens of London with the opportunity to express their views separately on those two proposals."
The Guardian actually said:
We agree with the society's recommendation for the election of the mayor.
Question put, That the amendment be made:--
The House divided: Ayes 176, Noes 324.
Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.
What is Tell? '+1 tell' means that in addition one member of that party was a teller for that division lobby.
What are Boths? An MP can vote both aye and no in the same division. The boths page explains this.
What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.
|Party||Majority (No)||Minority (Aye)||Both||Turnout|
|Con||0||139 (+2 tell)||0||87.0%|
|Lab||323 (+2 tell)||0||0||77.9%|