Is anybody surprised?
They’ll try this again, even if it fails, on other issues. We’ll all need to keep our wits about us.
Labour peers will on Monday dispute claims by the government that extending votes to 16- and 17-year-olds in the European Union referendum would cost £6m, as the EU referendum bill returns to the House of Lords.
Parliament’s two chambers are at a standoff, as a majority of MPs in the Commons are opposed to giving 16- and 17-year-olds the vote in the EU referendum, while a majority of peers in the Lords are in favour.
Before a vote on the matter in the Commons on Tuesday, the government claimed that lowering the voting age would incur costs of about £6m, meaning that the Speaker could rule it to be a financial measure and therefore exempt it from further interference from peers.
But it is understood that the shadow Foreign Office minister, Lady Morgan of Ely, who is tabling an amendment to the bill, will cite a letter from the chief executive of the association of electoral administrators, John Turner, in which he questions the government’s claim, saying that £4.2m of that figure relates to the cost of polling – money which is already accounted for in a consolidated fund.