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Constitution Committee to hear from Lord Hain and Lord Salisbury on devolution


The House of Lords Constitution Committee will tomorrow take evidence from Lord Salisbury and Lord Hain from the Constitution Reform Group on the union and devolution. The session will be Lord Hain's first appearance before a parliamentary committee since joining the House of Lords.

Also giving evidence to the Committee will be representatives of the Trades Union Congress, Locality and the Electoral Reform Society.

The evidence sessions will start at 10:30am on Wednesday 13 January in Committee Room 1 of the House of Lords.

10:30am      Lord Salisbury, Constitution Reform Group

Lord Hain, Constitution Reform Group

                     Daniel Greenberg, Constitution Reform Group

11:00am      Paul Nowak, Assistant General Secretary, Trades Union Congress

                     Tony Armstrong, Chief Executive, Locality

11:45am      Professor Matthew Flinders, University of Sheffield

                     Katie Ghose, Chief Executive, Electoral Reform Society

In the first session the Committee's questions will focus on the Constitution Reform Group's ongoing work, including its September 2015 Discussion Paper ‘Towards a New Act of Union'. This discussion will cover devolution in England, including whether legislative power should be devolved to England as part of the devolution process, and the ‘English Votes for English Laws' procedures adopted by the House of Commons.

In the second session, questions will touch on how variations in government policies across the nations and regions of the UK affects the work of trade unions and the voluntary sector. They will also cover the importance of the sharing of risks and resources and whether there should be UK minimum standards of public services and welfare levels following the increasing devolution of powers over these areas.

The session with Professor Flinders and Ms Ghose will explore the process and content of the ‘Citizens' Assembly' pilots they led in 2016, including: what powers participants wanted to see devolved to their areas; how the Government can do more to engage the public with the current devolution deals being negotiated with cities and regions; and how conventions or assemblies could be used to address questions around devolution and the constitution. It will also explore wider questions about devolution in England.

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