Affordable Homes Bill — Commit to a Select Committee Rather than Public Bill Committee — 5 Sep 2014 at 12:59
Oliver Letwin MP, West Dorset voted for a Select Committee rather than a Public Bill Committee to consider the Affordable Homes Bill.
The key provisions of the Bill sought to introduce exemptions to the benefits penalty for social housing tenants deemed to have excess bedrooms. The description of the vote on the second reading of the Bill contains more details of the content of the Bill.
The motion rejected by the majority of MPs in this vote was:
- That the Bill be committed to a Select Committee.
The motion was moved in accordance with House of Commons Standing Order No. 63(2).
Both Select Committees and Public Bill Committees can take written and oral evidence and go through Bills formally, clause by clause, and make amendments if they wish.
Differences between consideration of a Bill by a Select Committee vs a Public Bill Committee include:
- A Public Bill Committee just reports the Bill, with any amendments, back to the House of Commons whereas a Bill Select Committee may also publish a report which would normally prompt a Government response.
- Following consideration by a Public Bill Committee a Bill is then considered by the whole House of Commons at the "report stage". Following consideration of a Bill by a Select Committee a Bill is then considered by a by the whole House of Commons "in committee".
- Select Committees have the power to appoint, and pay, specialist advisors whereas Public Bill Committees do not.
In a point of order which was interpreted as moving the motion which became the subject of this vote MP Jacob Rees-Mogg (North East Somerset, Conservative) stated:
- On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. During the debate, many points of great interest have been raised and it has been suggested that further amendments will be made. I therefore think it would be highly beneficial if the Bill were referred to a Select Committee.
No explanation was given as to why Jacob Rees-Mogg MP thought the Select Committee would, given the circumstances, be more beneficial than a Public Bill Committee.
The New Statesman has reported that the intent of the motion to commit the Bill to a select committee was to delay its progress, although the article doesn't explain why a Select Committee would be slower than a Public Bill Committee.
The Spectator reported: "Jacob Rees-Mogg moved an amendment that the Bill should be considered by a select committee, in an attempt to slow it up, but it was also defeated". The reference to an amendment is an error, the reference is intended to be to the motion which was the subject of this vote. The mechanism through which a delay would occur again was not given.
It is possible that the production of a report by a select committee; and awaiting a government response, could introduce a delay.
On the Monday following this vote the Speaker made an announcement saying Mark Tami MP, Alyn and Deeside had attempted to vote but found the tellers and division clerks had left. The speaker ordered the record be corrected to show 236 Ayes and 265 Nos.
-  Parliament's webpage on the Affordable Homes Bill
-  Full text of the Affordable Homes Bill as at the time of the vote
-  House of Commons Standing Order 63
-  Parliament's webpage on Select Committees.
-  House of Commons Standing Order 73
-  Consideration of the Armed Forces Bill on 14 Jun 2011
-  consideration of Armed Forced Bill by a Bill Select Committee in 2011
-  Jacob Rees-Mogg MP, (Conservative), North East Somerset, House of Commons, 5 September 2014
-  Lib Dems defeat the Tories over bedroom tax reform - but would they vote to scrap it?, George Eaton, The New Statesman, 5 September 2014
-  Government loses ‘bedroom tax’ vote, Isabel Hardman, The Spectator, 5 September 2014
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||236 (+2 tell)||0||78.3%|
|Lab||206 (+1 tell)||0||0||80.2%|
|LDem||51 (+1 tell)||0||0||92.9%|