The government has narrowly avoided a damaging second defeat in the House of Lords in 24 hours as peers voted against a new ‘fatal’ motion that would have blocked a ‘rushed’ plan to change the way people register to take part in elections – by just 12 votes.
The motion, proposed by the Liberal Democrats, was lost by 246 votes to 257.
Perhaps they were averse to inflicting another defeat on the Tories so soon after yesterday’s tax credits vote caused such a stir.
Perhaps they wanted to hammer another nail into the coffin of Liberal Democrat credibility – the Lib Dem ‘fatal motion’ yesterday also failed at the vote.
Perhaps they couldn’t see the point, as the plan was to accelerate changes that are going to happen in any case.
That’s a shame because – as Lord Tyler made clear when he opened the debate – “Ministers should be ashamed of this unilateral attempt to undermine the IER process, to skew the boundary review and in so doing to challenge the authority and integrity of the statutory independent commission set up precisely to advise us all on these issues.”
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