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Mr. McDonnell: I understand my hon. Friend's point. The employee definition enables people to be nominated if they are employed by a qualifying body. The office holder who is employed by the qualifying body could come under the employees electoral college. That is my understanding of the amendment, but I am open to further discussion and clarification, and perhaps amendment at a later stage to define that.
There was a discussion at a previous stage about not excluding organisations, such as voluntary organisations and churches, that had office holders located in the City. In my view, they would come under one of these electoral colleges, either as office holders or employees. Office holders in that instance would be part of the business college, but that is open to definition.
Mr. Skinner: Has my hon. Friend seen a copy of The Times today? There is a big article by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who says that in the new era of politics things will not be centralised as they were in the past. According to him, some of the old establishments will fade away, and there will be a lot of voluntary work and so forth. Apparently, there will be an army of 100,000 volunteers.
Has my hon. Friend been far-seeing enough to think about that when he has thought about the electoral college? Has he thought about the Women's Royal Voluntary Service and the Women's Institute? I am sure that those organisations want to play their part, and if we are moving into this new era he cannot afford to leave them out.
I think my definitions of the various electoral colleges are flexible enough to enable voluntary organisations to come under what could become a business electoral college, but will probably--and more importantly--be a section of the work force comprising volunteers, which will therefore be an employees' electoral college.
Before we engage in a grand debate on the principles, let me say something about the technical details of the amendments. Apparently an attack was made on "white van men", many of whom live in my constituency.
Mr. McDonnell: I accept that. I am referring to the alleged attack by me. There is no one who will not defend the right of white van men and women to vote for members of the City of London Corporation. Indeed, many who operate in the City live in my constituency.
Mr. Corbyn: Has my hon. Friend considered the role of contract workers employed in the City? An army of people working there leave before the office workers arrive--those who work for contract cleaning companies. Many have pretty poor working conditions, and I think that their rights should be recognised.
I understand the problem. A particular section of the work force is vulnerable because its method of operation is open to exploitation, and it therefore requires representation more than those in more stable professions.
Mr. Dismore: I question my hon. Friend's assurance. It seems that, according to his definition, such people would qualify for the employee category only if the employer was based in the City. Employers' base of operation--this certainly applies to many contract cleaning companies--may be some distance away; they may bus people into the City in order to keep down their overheads. Effectively, my hon. Friend's amendment is disfranchising the army of workers referred to by my hon. Friend the Member for Bolsover (Mr. Skinner).
Mr. McDonnell: That can be easily remedied by a further amendment, which I shall be happy to discuss with my hon. Friend and with the corporation. That simple amendment would enable an employee to be defined by the rateable value of the agency with which the contract had been taken out. In other words, employees who served a particular firm, when the contract was with that firm, would be enfranchised by its rateable value.
I accept that there is a problem, and I am open to suggestions; but I will go to the wall to defend the principle of the electoral college in this context, especially given my experience of the electoral college in the election of the London Mayor, which proved so fruitful at the end of the day.
Mr. McDonnell: Let us be clear. The basis of my proposals is to establish electoral colleges, which will then enable the election of the City Corporation. In turn, through some form of divine guidance, a mayor is appointed, so it will be a form of representative democracy.
Line 37, before the word 'European' insert the words 'Environmental Audit Committee or with the'.
Line 46, before the word 'European' insert the words 'Environmental Audit Committee or with the'.
Line 48, at the end insert the words:--
'(4A) notwithstanding paragraphs (2) and (4) above, where more than two committees or sub-committees appointed under this order meet concurrently in accordance with paragraph (4)(e) above, the quorum of each such committee or sub-committee shall be two.'
the Lords Message [12th July 2000] communicating a Resolution relating to Human Rights (Joint Committee), be now considered;
this House concurs with the Lords in the said Resolution; and
the following Standing Order be made:
(1) There shall be a Select Committee, to consist of six Members, to join with the Committee appointed by the Lords as the Joint Committee on Human Rights.
(2) The Committee shall consider--
(a) matters relating to human rights in the United Kingdom (but excluding consideration of individual cases);
(b) proposals for remedial orders, draft remedial orders and remedial orders made under Section 10 of and laid under Schedule 2 to the Human Rights Act 1998; and
(c) in respect of draft remedial orders and remedial orders, whether the special attention of the House should be drawn to them on any of the grounds specified in Standing Order No. 151 (Statutory Instruments (Joint Committee));
(3) The Committee shall report to the House--
(a) in relation to any document containing proposals laid before the House under paragraph 3 of the said Schedule 2, its recommendation whether a draft order in the same terms as the proposals should be laid before the House; or
(b) in relation to any draft order laid under paragraph 2 of the said Schedule 2, its recommendation whether the draft Order should be approved;
and the Committee may report to the House on any matter arising from its consideration of the said proposals or draft orders.
(4) The Committee shall report to the House in respect of any original order laid under paragraph 4 of the said Schedule 2, its recommendation whether--
(a) the order should be approved in the form in which it was originally laid before Parliament; or
(b) that the order should be replaced by a new order modifying the provisions of the original order; or
(c) that the order should not be approved,
and the Committee may report to the House on any matter arising from its consideration of the said order or any replacement order.
(5) The quorum of the committee shall be three.
(6) Unless the House otherwise orders, each Member nominated to the committee shall continue to be a member of it for the remainder of the Parliament.
(7) The committee shall have power--
(a) to send for persons, papers and records, to sit notwithstanding any adjournment of the House, to adjourn from place to place within the United Kingdom, to adjourn to institutions of the Council of Europe outside the United Kingdom no more than four times in any calendar year, and to report from time to time; and
(b) to appoint specialist advisers either to supply information which is not readily available or to elucidate matters of complexity within the committee's order of reference.