Thursday, 21 October 2010

Devonwall issue not even debated

Like many people, I watched much of the debate on the Parliamentary Voting Systems and Constituencies Bill yesterday and found that the whole “spectacle” made me extremely sad and angry.

Amendments relating to Clause 9 were grouped into two blocks; the first relating to the number of MPs and the second to constituencies and related issues (including the protection of Cornish integrity). But MPs took so long talking about the total number of MPs that they did not get around to debating the other amendments.

I have already spoken to Stephen Gilbert and his frustration with the archaic approach of the House of Commons was palpable. The relevant clause has been agreed by the House, even though key elements have not been debated, but I understand Cornish MPs are already working to ensure that the importance of Cornish integrity can be addressed at a future date, perhaps at the Report Stage of the Bill.

The fight must continue, and I will blog again when I know more.


Ross said...

MPs delegation to the PM today and issue covered at length on 'The Daily Politics': "How can the Cornish possibly have the English in their constituency?". Blogging on this yes?

David Robins said...

How will this new legislation actually work? Every election to Parliament is held under the authority of writs issued by the Clerk of the Crown in Chancery to the relevant sheriffs and mayors, who then delegate the administration of the poll to Acting Returning Officers. In Cornwall, the Duchy charters require that no sheriff of the King shall enter Cornwall to execute the King's writ. Therefore, Parliamentary elections can only be held in Cornwall if supervised by the Duke's own sheriff. To permit the High Sheriff of Devonshire or the Lord Mayor of Plymouth - who are not Duchy officers and have not sworn the oath of loyalty to the Duke - to execute the Queen's writ in Cornwall would be an infringement of Cornish sovereignty and therefore illegal. You don't have to be a monarchist to challenge those who are to explain how they intend to address this point.