Asked for his view on a possible ‘guillotine’ or timetabling for the Lords, the Prime Minister’s Spokesman (PMS) told the assembled press that we were looking at the options.
Asked at what point did things become critical in terms of the passage of the Bill, the PMS replied that as he understood it, it had been in Committee for 13 days and been discussed for 80 hours. This was only an 18 clause Bill, and that was why we were looking at the options. Asked what the options were, the PMS said that he would not get into that, but we were examining what they were, to ensure this got through the Lords.
On whether the options included the longstanding procedures of the House of Lords, the PMS said that we were looking at the options to ensure that this got through on a sensible timetable.
Asked if there was any mechanism in the Lords for guillotining a Bill, the PMS replied that that was something we were actively looking at.
Put that Nick Clegg had said last week that there was no suggestion that the Bill would be split or the Government would agree to delay the referendum and did that still stand, the PMS said that that was still our objective.
Asked if there was any scope for increasing the level of public consultation on boundary changes that was currently laid out in the Bill, the PMS advised people to speak to the Cabinet Office on the detail.