Dissolution of Parliament Debate: Charles calls for scrutiny of constitutional changes

Charles calls on the Government to recognise the strength of feeling amongst backbench MPs and allow proper time for scrutiny of constitutional changes on fixed term Parliaments and the requirement for 55% of MPs to call an early general election.

Mr Charles Walker (Broxbourne) (Con): The hon. Gentleman has been to many Adjournment debates. There are normally three people in such a debate, but tonight there are 60 Members in the Chamber. This issue is causing enormous concern. Can we have a period of quiet reflection? Can we establish a constitutional committee to look at the matter closely and carefully, to give all Members and our constituents the reassurance that they desire?

Mr Heath: We will have a period of reflection: first, we will publish the motion, which the House will consider, and then, at a later stage, we will publish the legislation, which will be considered in advance and then by both Houses of Parliament, which will give them the opportunity to have their say. I do not think that this is a precipitate process; it is carefully considered. Hon. Members such as the hon. Gentleman might well have views that they want to express on behalf of their constituents, and they will be listened to, because that is how we intend to run debates in the House.

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