MP for Basingstoke Maria Miller spoke in the second reading of the Dissolution and Calling of Parliament Bill yesterday. The Bill delivers on Conservative and Labour manifesto commitments to repealing the Fixed-term Parliaments Act was a Conservative and Labour Party manifesto commitment.
Maria served on the Joint-Committee scrutinising the Fixed-term Parliaments Act in the previous parliamentary session, which broadly welcomed the draft legislation while including some key recommendations, including reducing the statutory election period of 25 days.
Speaking at debate, Maria said, ‘Lengthening campaigns has real consequences for our democracy, for the engagement of voters, for the period of uncertainty and for our economy and our politics. This point is borne out by academic research. We were not able to take evidence on this issue in any great detail in the Joint Committee. It is not covered in the Cabinet Office democratic engagement plan and I hope that we can rectify that omission in the progress of the Bill, perhaps, as the Joint Committee suggested, through a review of the issue either by a cross-party Committee or in other ways. I think that is long overdue.'
The Bill will restore the process for dissolving Parliament to the system that existed before the Fixed-term Parliaments Act, namely, the use of prerogative powers.
To watch Maria’s full contribution in the House of Commons, click here: https://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/612770d1-081c-4a3b-8994-a0d53609d92f?in=17:43:40&out=17:53:23