Scotland Bill — Clause 32 — Power for Scottish Parliament to Set Quotas for Those with Protected Characteristics — 9 Nov 2015 at 21:47
Jeff Smith MP, Manchester, Withington voted in the minority (Teller for the Ayes).
The majority of MPs voted against clarifying that the Scottish Parliament is able to set minimum quotas for those with certain protected characteristics such as sex, race, and disability.
MPs were considering the Scotland Bill.
The amendment rejected in this vote was:
- Amendment 26, page 34, line 13, at end insert
- “including the imposition of minimum quotas for women and other persons with protected characteristics across all levels of public and political representation in Scotland.”
An explanatory note accompanying this rejected amendment stated:
- This Amendment is intended to make explicit that, among the exceptions to reserved matters on equal opportunities, the power is being devolved to the Scottish Parliament to set gender quotas.
The rejected amendment would have impacted section 32 of the Bill, adding the text to (b) in:
- (3) Under the heading “Exceptions”, at the end insert—
- ““The subject-matter of Part 1 of the Equality Act 2010 (socio-economic inequalities).
- Equal opportunities in relation to the Scottish functions of any Scottish public authority or cross-border public authority. The provision falling within this exception does not include any modification of the Equality Act 2006 or the Equality Act 2010, or any subordinate legislation made under those Acts, but does include—
- (a) provision that supplements or is otherwise additional to provision made by those Acts;
- (b) in particular, provision imposing a requirement to take action that the Acts do not prohibit;
- (c) provision that reproduces or applies an enactment contained in those Acts, with or without modification, without affecting the enactment as it applies for the purposes of those Acts.”
The list (a)-(c) is a list of matters excepted from being reserved to the UK Parliament, so devolved to the Scottish Parliament.
It doesn't appear clear how broadly the reference to "public and political representation" is intended to be interpreted. In addition presumably the intent was to refer to "certain protected characteristics". Due to the way the rejected amendment has been written the impact it would have had is hard to determine; and in any case it only sought to provide explicit clarification.
Protected characteristics are listed in Section 4 of the Equality Act 2010, they are: age; disability; gender reassignment; marriage and civil partnership; pregnancy and maternity; race; religion or belief; sex; sexual orientation.
-  Parliament's webpage on the Scotland Bill
-  Clause 32 of the Bill (page numbering wrong in HTML version).
-  Section 4 of the Equality Act 2010
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||286 (+2 tell)||0||0||87.3%|
|Lab||0||181 (+2 tell)||0||79.2%|