Guido broke the news yesterday that the government e-Petitions that have crossed the threshold of 100,000 signatures, so far, will not be debated until well after the conference season. Well it seems the Committee overseeing the project are trying to shift the blame for the delay:
- The Government is responsible for giving time to the Backbench Business Committee, and the time available to us is very limited – less than one day a fortnight. The Government has not provided any additional time to debate e-petitions and our existing limited supply is already oversubscribed.
- The Committee has no power to schedule debates unless some Members of Parliament come forward to tell us that they wish to take part in them. However the Government has not provided any way to link petitions to Members of Parliament who wish to sponsor them on the e-petitions site, or any advice to petitioners on what they might need to do. Unfortunately, this means that no Members of Parliament have yet come to ask us for a debate on an e-petition.
The same government denied these e-Petitions were cosmetic…