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Lords concludes detailed check of Dissolution and Calling of Parliament Bill

26 January 2022

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Members of the Lords undertook line by line examination of the Dissolution and Calling of Parliament Bill in committee stage on Tuesday 25 January.

The Dissolution and Calling of Parliament Bill seeks to repeal the Fixed Term Parliament Act, whereby a Term was fixed at five years, allowing any future Parliament to be dissolved by the Sovereign, on the request of the Prime Minister.

Line by line examination

Committee stage is the first chance to check the bill in detail and make changes.

Members speaking at committee stage put forward changes (PDF) (amendments) to the bill to be discussed. 

The amendments covered a range of subjects, including:

  • the expectation of how long a Parliament should be in normal circumstances

  • the regularity of dissolution

  • revising the Dissolution Principles document and the Cabinet Manual

  • the role of the House of Commons in approving a dissolution

  • court powers, including whether any request to the sovereign to dissolve Parliament and any related advice, can be reviewed by a court or tribunal.

Get involved

Watch and read the debate

Find out about all the issues members discussed: catch up on Parliament TV or read the Lords Hansard transcript.

Explore further information

Read a report from the Lords Constitution Committee.

Read background on the bill in the House of Lords Library Dissolution and Calling of Parliament Bill briefing.

Next steps

Report stage, an opportunity to closely scrutinise elements of the bill and make changes, is scheduled for Wednesday 9 February.

What's happened so far?

Second reading: Tuesday 30 November

Members discussed the main issues in the bill during the second reading  debate, including: 

  • courts' powers, including whether any request to the Sovereign to dissolve Parliament and any related advice, can be reviewed by a court or tribunal

  • the flaws of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act

  • restoring public confidence in democratic arrangements
  • role of the House of Commons in approving a Dissolution.

Members speaking

Lord True (Conservative), Minister of State at the Cabinet Office, opened the debate and respond on behalf of the government.

Former Supreme Court justices, senior judges and lawyers, plus a former Cabinet Secretary and Lord Chancellor took part in the debate. Members speaking included:

The Earl of Leicester made his maiden speech.

Catch up on Parliament TV or read a transcript in Lords Hansard. 

Image: Roger Harris