Andrea Leadsom is smiling because she thinks the minority Tory government has stitched us all up again [Image: Dinendra Haria/Rex/Shutterstock].

What possible reason can the minority Tory government have for wanting nearly a quarter of a year to consider its response to defeats in Opposition Day debates?

Is Theresa May hoping that, if she kicks the big issues into the long grass, nobody will remember or care when a ministerial statement finally appears?

Is she playing for enough time to work out what a u-turn will mean, whether the public will react harshly, and whether she’ll be able to u-turn back later?

Or is she simply panicking?

Whatever the facts of the matter, this delaying tactic simply isn’t good enough.

People are suffering now.

If the government is defeated on matters involving social security, social care, or any other matter involving the government’s duty to look after UK citizens – a duty the Tories have overlooked for more than seven years – then it should act immediately to end the agony it is inflicting on millions of people.

Immediately – not sometime/never.

Labour accused Theresa May of a “great stitch-up” after the government announced that ministers would be given 12 weeks to respond when they are defeated on motions raised by the opposition.

Andrea Leadsom, the leader of the House of Commons, said on Thursday she would take up a proposal made by the veteran Eurosceptic MP Peter Bone for a minister to be obliged to issue a response within 12 weeks whenever the government lost an opposition day debate.

“Where a motion tabled by an opposition party has been approved by the house, the relevant minister will respond to the resolution of the house by making a statement no more than 12 weeks after the debate,” she said in a written statement to parliament.

“This is to allow thoughtful consideration of the points that have been raised, facilitate collective discussion across government, especially on cross-cutting issues, and to outline any actions that have been taken.”

But Jon Trickett, the shadow minister for the cabinet office, dismissed the concession and accused the government of trying to bypass parliamentary scrutiny.

“The government’s contempt for parliament and democracy is disgraceful,” he said. “After failing to win a majority at the general election, the Tories have engaged in one stitch-up after another. They’ve fixed standing committees in their favour, are attempting to grant themselves sweeping powers with the EU withdrawal bill, and now seem to have confirmed they will ignore the decisions of parliament on opposition day debates, in a cynical attempt to push through policies like the botched rollout of universal credit.

“Their great stitch-up proves that this is is a weak and divided government, led by a prime minister who is in office but not in power.”

Source: Labour accuses Theresa May of ‘stitch-up’ over response to defeats | Politics | The Guardian


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