Many Peers barely make it through an afternoon session in the Lords, but somehow they have managed to pull an all-nighter to debate a mere three of a possible two hundred amendments put forward to the Bill that must be passed by Friday if the AV referendum can take place on the 5th May.
However it is the coalition’s rebalancing of seats, to make them of equal size, that Labour is finding hard to swallow. Days like this that highlight just how flawed our constitution is – we have unelected and unaccountable peers breaking convention in order to block a move that will make our representative democracy fairer and more balanced. You couldn’t make it up…
UPDATE: The FT’s Jim Pickard highlights why Labour’s claim that they are not filibustering out of party interest looks ridiculous:
Lord Harris of Haringey, Lab, 01.45:
“So what were the reasons for choosing 600 (MPs) as opposed to 650, 630, 575 or 585? I was tempted to say that there was some sort of arcane numerology about this. Noble Lords will be aware that 650 is the product of three prime numbers: two, five squared and 13; 630 is of course the product of four prime numbers: two, three squared, five and seven. I defy anyone to find a similar formulation or number that involves five prime numbers. Maybe my noble friend Lord Winston, or some such person could come up with something.”