Amendment to the Motion

Part of Electoral Commission Strategy and Policy Statement - Motion to Approve – in the House of Lords am 6:45 pm ar 6 Chwefror 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle Green 6:45, 6 Chwefror 2024

My Lords, it is a pleasure and an honour to briefly follow the noble Lord, Lord Hayward, and that extremely powerful and important speech. It is important in this debate that the House hears from the insurgent voice, the non-establishment voice, the voice of change, which the Green Party represents. However, I should declare an interest because much of the debate on this statement has been about the place of money in our politics, and the Green Party basically does not have any in comparison to the people we have just been hearing about. We operate on the enthusiasm and the energy of our members, the power of our arguments, the strength of our debate; that is what should determine our politics and be the foundation of democracy. Overseeing that should be the independent Electoral Commission. We have heard again and again that, if we were judging any other country, an independent electoral commission would be the absolute basis of judgment. We should come back to our own Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee’s statement, in its usual modest terms:

The House may wish to press the Minister for a compelling justification for the Government’s approach”.

The noble Baroness, Lady Noakes, made a valiant effort to put the case and said that the Electoral Commission was not a perfect institution. I do not think anyone here would claim that there was such a thing as a perfect institution. However, I invite your Lordships’ House to consider the classic scales of justice and weigh up a judgment of the independent Electoral Commission versus the Government, with all their vested interests, and say which way should those scales be weighed in the interests of justice and the interests of democracy.