James Gray MP with representatives from Google and The Countryside Alliance Foundation
James with representatives of 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards during a Welcome Home Event for 20th Armoured Brigade
James at The Springfields Academy
James Gray MP welcoming representatives of 20th Armoured Brigade to Parliament
Mr James Gray (North Wiltshire) (Conservative): I apologise for intervening so early in the Deputy Prime Minister’s speech, but it is important to pick up his statement that everyone presumes that the status quo is not an option. What evidence does he have? The status quo is precisely the option for which I will vote.
The Deputy Prime Minister (Mr Nick Clegg): If I remember correctly, my hon. Friend voted for 100% election to the House of Lords when this subject was last up for discussion, which suggests that he might be more willing to entertain change than his question implies. Even the advocates of minimal change—even those in the other place, as was witnessed in last week’s debate—accept that some change is now unavoidable.
Mr James Gray: May I invite the shadow Minister to rise from the short grass and the detail of exactly what is going to happen and, for a second, before he moves on to the detail of his speech, to address a fundamental question? Which aspect of the work of the House of Lords, as currently constituted, does he dislike or think unsatisfactory? If he can point to some part of the work of the House of Lords that is wrong, will he explain how it would be improved by electing 100% of its Members?
Sadiq Khan (Tooting) (Lab): The hon. Gentleman heard the speech from the Deputy Prime Minister, who gave a number of examples whereby the other Chamber—[ Interruption. ] I will give the hon. Gentleman an example. Is it right that we have 828 Members in the other place, all of whom, except for the 92 who by good fortune of their DNA have to go through elections, are not elected? That is not acceptable in a modern democracy.
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