Constitutional affairs

Mike Wood: What alternative to direct rule would be available if these elections did not result in an immediate power-sharing Government?


James Brokenshire The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

Mike Wood: May we have a debate on making it easier for metropolitan councils to switch to all-out elections or elections by halves so that councils such as Dudley can cut the cost of local politics?


Chris Grayling Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons

The Budget builds on the Chancellor’s strong record over the past six years of restoring sanity to the public finances, rebuilding the nation’s economy and securing growth. It is a shame that the shadow Chancellor is no longer in the Chamber, but I am sure that the shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury will pass on the message that despite the shadow Chancellor’s mean-spirited comments to the Chancellor, such a feeling is not reciprocated on the Government Benches.

Mike Wood: Will my right hon. Friend join me in welcoming the commission’s conclusion that it would be inappropriate to introduce further charges for requests under the Act? Can he reassure my constituents that the Government have no plans to do so?


Matthew Hancock The Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office

Mike Wood: I thank the Prime Minister for his efforts to secure the best deal available. Today’s newspaper reports suggest that the changes needed to introduce an emergency brake would require approval from the European Parliament. Has he had an opportunity to assess levels of support among MEPs for these changes?


David Cameron The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party

Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. I shall try to compensate for some of the earlier speeches that went a little beyond your guidance.

It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Howarth. This is my first Bill Committee, and for it to be on my own Bill is a particular pleasure.

Mike Wood: Can the Attorney General reassure the House that a British Bill of Rights would not only protect our existing rights, which are essential in a modern democratic society, but protect us against abuse of the system and the misuse of human rights laws?


Jeremy Wright The Attorney-General

Mike Wood: It is sometimes said that the definition of insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting a different result. On 7 May, the voters decided that it would be insane to let another Labour Government repeat the mistakes that the previous Labour Government made, which, at the very least, seriously worsened the recession. They borrowed too much in order to spend too much.