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Leveson ‘two thirds lock’ ineffective - Procedure Committee Chair

 

By Jon Stone

The two-third majority lock on changing the Royal Charter underpinning the proposed press regulator would be ineffective, the MP who chairs the Commons Procedure Committee has said.

Conservative MP Charles Walker told PoliticsHome the plan to prevent the Royal Charter governing press regulation being changed without two thirds of MPs voting in favour would not be effective due to the sovereignty of Parliament.

“It’s not how we do things in this country. It should be a 50 percent plus one majority – Parliament could pass a bill to overturn it anyway,” he said.

“The only precedent for this is the fixed term parliaments, and I voted against that on the same basis.”

The suggestion by the MP, whose committee scrutinises the procedure and practice of the House of Commons, calls into question the effectiveness of the plan to ‘lock in’ the changes, which is supported by all the main parties.

The Prime Minister said the attempt to restricting changes to a two-thirds majority represented “no statutory underpinning, but a safeguard” to stop ministers from tinkering with the regulator.

Mr Walker said that though he thought some in the press had done “wicked” things, existing laws should be used as a threat against wrongdoing.

 

 

 

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