Harriet Harman

Labour Member of Parliament for Camberwell & Peckham

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Scotland's voice must be heard in Human Rights Consultation - Question to the Cabinet Office

At Cabinet Office questions in the House of Commons, I asked Rt Hon Oliver Letwin MP (Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster) to guarantee that the voice of Scotland would be heard in the Government's consultation on the Human Rights Act:

"Ms Harriet Harman (Camberwell and Peckham) (Lab):

The Cabinet Office is responsible for the guidelines on Government proposals. As the Joint Committee on Human Rights discovered when we went to Scotland earlier this month, there is a strong feeling about the consultation on the Human Rights Act 1998. Will the right hon. Gentleman make sure that the voice of people in Scotland is heard, and that they will not be gagged by the fact that the consultation will be issued during purdah following the dissolution of the Scottish Parliament? Will he give such a guarantee?

Mr Letwin:

As the right hon. and learned Lady will know, the consultation principles, which we have recently promulgated—I spoke to the Joint Committee about them recently—have the effect that every Department should make sure that all consultations are proportionate, and that we make due allowance for any time during which it would be difficult for people to respond so that we get a full and adequate consultation on every occasion."

You can watch my question to the Minister and his answer here.

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