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Lord Whitty: My Lords, there are complicated interrelationships between the various clauses. On the noble Baroness's last point, you need to provide for the situation where there is a formal declaration that the person does not wish to be acting mayor and also for the situation where the person does not deliver a declaration under paragraph 5(1). One is a passive and the other an active denial, so to speak, of taking on the office.

Regarding the earlier cross-references between what is on the face of the Bill and paragraph 5(1), I am not immediately in a position to give a clear answer. I hope that the noble Baroness will allow me to write to her. If necessary, we can return to the matter at Third Reading.

The noble Lord, Lord Lucas, gave me notice that he wishes to raise questions on Amendment No. 93, and so on. Perhaps he can remind me which of the amendments he wishes to discuss in this first group.

Lord Lucas: My Lords, I shall get difficult when we reach Amendment No. 92. However, there are also Amendments Nos. 83 and 90--the use of “unless and" in the former and “unless or" in the latter; and, indeed, the reason why the word “until" in Amendment No. 83 needs reinforcing. I wish to know what additional circumstances are covered by the words “unless and". I am quite happy for the noble Lord to write to me on the matter, but I would like to know the answer.

Lord Whitty: My Lords, the noble Lord will probably get a more accurate response in that case. If the noble Lord will bear with me, I shall write to him.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Lord Whitty moved Amendments Nos. 75 to 91:


Page 219, line 8, at end insert--

(“Provision for acting Mayor during vacancy

2A. During any vacancy in the office of Mayor there shall be an acting Mayor of London (in this Act referred to as the “acting Mayor").")

12 Oct 1999 : Column 332


Page 219, line 8, at end insert--
(“Filling the office of acting Mayor

2B.--(1) If a person holds the office of Deputy Mayor on the date on which a vacancy in the office of Mayor occurs, that person shall be the acting Mayor unless, within the permitted period--
(a) he gives notice to the proper officer of the Authority that he does not wish to be the acting Mayor; or
(b) he does not give a notice under paragraph (a) above and does not deliver a declaration under paragraph 5(1) below.
(2) If a person becomes the acting Mayor by virtue of being the Deputy Mayor--
(a) he shall cease to be the Deputy Mayor; and
(b) he shall not be the Deputy Mayor, the Chair of the Assembly or the Deputy Chair of the Assembly at any time while he is the acting Mayor.
(3) If, by virtue of sub-paragraph (1) above, the person who is the Deputy Mayor does not become the acting Mayor, the proper officer of the Authority shall give notice of that fact to the Chair of the Assembly as soon as practicable after--
(a) receipt of any notice under sub-paragraph (1)(a) above; or
(b) if no such notice is given, the last day of the permitted period.
(4) Where notice is given to the Chair of the Assembly--
(a) under paragraph 2(1)(b) above, or
(b) under sub-paragraph (3) above,
the person who is the Chair of the Assembly shall be the acting Mayor.
(5) If a person becomes acting Mayor by virtue of being the Chair of the Assembly--
(a) he shall cease to be the Chair of the Assembly; and
(b) he shall not be the Deputy Mayor, the Chair of the Assembly or the Deputy Chair of the Assembly at any time while he is the acting Mayor.
(6) In this paragraph “the permitted period" means the period of seven days following the day on which notice under paragraph 2(1)(a) above is given to the Deputy Mayor.")
Page 219, leave out lines 9 and 10 and insert--
(“Acting Mayor to be treated as Mayor during vacancy

3.--(1) If and so long as there is an acting Mayor--")
Page 219, line 12, leave out (“Deputy") and insert (“acting")
Page 219, line 14, leave out (“Deputy") and insert (“acting")
Page 219, line 16, leave out (“Deputy") and insert (“acting")
Page 219, line 31, at end insert--
(“Acting Mayor not to act as Assembly member except in relation to budget

4A.--(1) While a person is the acting Mayor, he shall not act as an Assembly member except in relation to the functions of the Assembly under Schedule 5 or 6 to this Act.
(2) Any period during which sub-paragraph (1) above has effect in relation to a person shall be left out of account in applying section 6 of this Act in relation to that person.")
Page 219, line 33, leave out (“The Deputy Mayor shall not") and insert (“A person shall not, by virtue of being Deputy Mayor,--
(a) become the acting Mayor, or
(b)")
Page 219, line 34, after (“above") insert (“unless and")
Page 219, line 35, after (“Authority") insert (“within the permitted period")
Page 219, line 36, at end insert--
(“( ) In sub-paragraph (1) above, “permitted period" has the same meaning as in paragraph 2B above.")
Page 219, line 40, leave out (“Deputy") and insert (“acting")

12 Oct 1999 : Column 333


Page 219, line 43, leave out (“Deputy") and insert (“acting")
Page 219, line 47, leave out (“Deputy") and insert (“acting")
Page 220, line 1, leave out sub-paragraphs (3) and (4)
Page 220, line 6, at end insert--
(“Declaration of acceptance by Chair of Assembly

6A. A person who becomes acting Mayor by virtue of being the Chair of the Assembly shall not act in the office of acting Mayor unless or until he has satisfied in respect of his office as an Assembly member the requirements of section 23(1) above.")
Page 220, line 7, leave out paragraph 7

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Lord Whitty moved Amendment No. 92:


Page 220, line 15, at end insert--

(“Occurrence of vacancy in office of acting Mayor

8A.--(1) If, at any time during a vacancy in the office of Mayor, a casual vacancy occurs in the office of acting Mayor, the head of the Authority's paid service shall give notice of the vacancy--
(a) to the Chair of the Assembly, and
(b) to the Deputy Mayor, if there is a holder of that office,
and this Part of this Schedule (other than paragraph 2 above) shall have effect as if a vacancy in the office of Mayor had arisen on the date on which the vacancy in the office of acting Mayor occurs.
(2) For the purposes of this paragraph, the cases in which, and the date on which, a casual vacancy occurs in the office of acting Mayor are the cases in which, and the date on which, a casual vacancy--
(a) occurs in the acting Mayor's office as an Assembly member; or
(b) would have occurred in the office of Mayor, had the acting Mayor been the Mayor.
(3) Any notice under sub-paragraph (1) above shall be given as soon as practicable after the date on which, by virtue of sub-paragraph (2) above, the vacancy is, in accordance with section 9 or 15 of this Act, to be regarded as occurring.")

Lord Lucas : My Lords, I should very much like some clarification of paragraph (2) of the amendment, which sets out the date on which the casual vacancy occurs in the office of acting mayor and offers two alternatives--the date on which the casual vacancy occurs in the acting mayor's office as an assembly member, or would have occurred in the office of the mayor had the acting mayor been the mayor. I should be very grateful to have the Minister's confirmation that there is no possibility of conflict between those alternatives and that there is no possibility of that duality generating two different dates because of concatenation of events which resulted in both a vacancy in the position of the assembly member and a vacancy in the position of mayor. I shall be fascinated to know the function of paragraph (2)(a); in other words, what vacancies might occur in the acting mayor's position as an assembly member which would not, at the same time, trigger a vacancy in the office of mayor if he had been mayor?

Lord Whitty: My Lords, in relation to the noble Lord's first point, I should point out that it is not at all clear that there is a position where the two dates would lead one to a different answer. As regards his second point, if the previous deputy mayor has not become acting mayor there is a difference between paragraphs (a) and (b). That is why we require the distinction.

12 Oct 1999 : Column 334

That leads me to my first conclusion; namely, that there would not be a different date. However, it may be necessary to look at all the contingencies covered by the clause. If that is the case, I had better, once again, agree to write to the noble Lord.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Lord Whitty moved Amendment No. 93:


Page 220, line 17, at end insert--
(“Notice of Mayor's temporary inability to act
8B.--(1) If the head of the Authority's paid service becomes aware that the Mayor is temporarily unable to act, he shall as soon as reasonably practicable give notice of that fact--
(a) to the Chair of the Assembly; and
(b) to the Deputy Mayor, if there is a holder of that office.
(2) For the purposes of the following provisions of this Part of this Schedule, any period when the Mayor is temporarily unable to act shall be taken to begin with the giving of the notice required by sub-paragraph (1) above.")

Lord Lucas: My Lords, here we come to a subject of much high drama and great fiction--the Mutiny on the Bounty no less, passages in “Hornblower" and other great sea-going stories; in other words, when does the captain become sufficiently doolally that he should be replaced by his senior officers? As I remember it, in those cases the arbiter was the ship's doctor. It was a very tricky position for him because a court martial awaited automatically at the other end to discover whether he had been right. If he had got it wrong, that was the end of him.

“If somebody else becomes aware that the mayor is unable to act"--that is a very undefined position. How would it have been defined, for instance, in the case of President Reagan or Boris Yeltsin; or in the case of any other leader people might say was getting to the point when his ability to act was questionable? There have certainly been stages where Boris Yeltsin has been unable to act and he has handed over power, temporarily, to other people while he has been in hospital undergoing operations.

It seems very odd that the power should not be exercised in consultation with the mayor and that the burden of making such a lonely and difficult decision should be placed on someone without the support of some democratic procedure to ensure that the decision is taken properly. I would appreciate the Minister's comments on how this particular formula has been arrived at and whether it has any precedent in any elected office of any other authority in this country.


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