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These Are The Five Bills Getting Delayed Until The Next Parliamentary Session

These Are The Five Bills Getting Delayed Until The Next Parliamentary Session

(Alamy)

3 min read

Downing Street has confirmed that five bills are being delayed until the next Parliamentary session, as the government has run out of time to pass them into law.

A Downing Street spokesperson said a “significant number” of Bills were due to be given Royal Assent this week before the session ended.

They confirmed a total of 10 government Bills and 11 government-supported Private Member’s Bills (PMBs) would be written into law by Thursday, in addition to the 22 government bills and two PMBs already passed by the government.

Five bills would have to be pushed to the next Parliamentary session, however, as there would not be enough time for MPs and peers to scrutinise them.

This includes the Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill, the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill, the High Speed Rail (Crewe - Manchester) Bill, the Online Safety Bill and the Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill.

Currently at the report stage, The Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill was announced in the last Queen’s speech, and was intended to help strengthen freedom of speech at universities.

But it has been beset by controversy and delays, with experts warning last year that its approach was “excessive” and could actually damage freedom of speech.

Responding to the motion to carry over the Bill in the Commons, shadow education minister Matt Western said the legislation would “certainly have no effect on cancel culture” in British universities. 

Other legislation which has attracted controversy includes the High Speed Rail Bill, which was put before Parliament in January. 

It sets out details for a new 52-mile extension of the high-speed rail network from Crewe to Manchester, but has attracted local criticism for how the proposed line will be built.

Grant Shapps was forced to insist in November that promises made over new rail connections in the north of England are "absolutely being fulfilled", despite scrapping new high speed lines.

While the Crewe to Manchester line is due to be upgraded, the government has scrapped plans to extend the high speed rail network to other lines connecting to Leeds.

The government’s flagship Online Safety Bill was only introduced to Parliament last month after a long delay, and received its Second Reading last week.

It relates to the regulation of the internet via Ofcom and will set out a number of new communications offences.

Introduced in the 2021 Queen’s Speech, the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill makes provisions about the welfare of certain kept animals, plus new powers to tackle puppy smuggling and livestock worrying. 

It is the government’s second bill relating to animal welfare, following on from the Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill was passed into law earlier this month, and is currently at the report stage, where MPs can consider amendments to the legislation.

Another bill also still at its report stage is the Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill, which makes provision about the security of internet-connectable products.


 

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