Hague outlines Tory English votes solution

Commons leader says EVEL measures would be a "very high priority" for Conservative government 

Nick Clegg Photo PA

By Josh May

03 Feb 2015

The Conservatives are setting out proposals that would give English MPs a veto over legislation that affects only England.

Under the plan, which will be outlined by Commons leader William Hague today, a majority of the whole House of Commons would still be required for any bill to pass, but Committee Stage would be restricted to those with English constituencies.

Hague told Good Morning Britain that he believed the proposals would be "fair all round and fair, for the first time, to the voters of England".

The Commons leader added: "If we're proposing, let us say, to change the level of health spending in England that does have an effect on Scotland. That is for all MPs to vote on.

"But if we're voting on how to share out the health spending in England, in the different parts of England, that should require the agreement of the English members of Parliament. That's the distinction that I'm making."

Speaking to BBC Breakfast later, Hague admitted it was "unlikely" that the measures would pass before the election, but stressed that they would be a "very high priority" for a Tory government.

"In an ideal world I would like to see this passed before the coming election so that it was ready for whatever the result of the election is," he said. "The other parties don't support this proposal.

"The Liberal Democrats have a different proposal of their own kind. The Labour party don't want to talk about this at all. So it is unlikely that we'll be unable to pass any such thing before the election, but this will be in the manifesto of the Conservative Party in the coming general election. And the Conservative government will have as a very high priority bringing in these rules."

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