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Tories accused of 'rigging parliament' in 'unprecedented power grab'

Tories accused of 'rigging parliament' in 'unprecedented power grab'”

The Liberal Democrats said the plan would skewer attempts to change Brexit plans as the government would have a majority on the committee scrutinising the European Union withdrawal bill.

The move has been disguised on the Commons order paper under the innocuous description of "motions relating to House business", but will be a decisive act in the Brexit process.

In a tweet, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the move was "an unprecedented attempt to rig parliament and grab power by a Conservative government with no majority and no mandate". Prime Minister Theresa May, who is propped up in power by a deal with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), has a working majority of just 13.

Cable said his party would work with other parties to "resist this attempt to undermine British democracy in the service of an extreme Brexit".

Labour has accused the Tories of making an "unprecedented power grab" by trying to give its MPs control over all legislation and "rigging parliament" to defy the result of the general election.

Without the fix, it would be impossible to force through up to 1,000 "corrections" to EU law as intended through the EU (Withdrawal) Bill - the reason for the accusations of a power grab.

At stake are protections for British workers and consumers, environmental standards and whether powers will be devolved across the UK.

Former Conservative ministers have joined Labour and other parties in protesting that the bill - the key Brexit legislation - will grant ministers unprecedented and risky powers.

The Commons will vote on the controversial motion on Tuesday.

He told the Press Association this afternoon: "They are the largest party, they don't have an overall majority in Parliament. and they now think they've got the right to give themselves a majority in the committee in Parliament".

If the vote is passed and MPs approve the changes, it will make sure that the Tories will have a majority to push through the changed in the EU Withdrawal Bill without being stopped by the Opposition.

Liberal Democrat chief whip Alistair Carmichael said: 'With every day that passes, this Government gets further from the basic principles of democracy.

The latest controversy comes as PMs have begun debating legislation to end Britain's membership in the EU.

Meanwhile, almost 40 Tory Eurosceptics were accused of trying to "undermine" the negotiations after signing a letter putting ministers on notice they would accept no backsliding on a hard Brexit.

The row centres on the obscure Committee of Selection, which has the crucial task of arranging which statutory instruments (SIs) will be pushed through Parliament and when.

Public bill committees - formerly known as standing committees - scrutinise legislation line by line in a low-profile but crucial part of its passage through Parliament.

It states that "where a committee has an odd number of members the Government shall have a majority, and where a committee has an even number of members the number of Government and Opposition members shall be equal; but this instruction shall not apply to the nomination of any public bill committee".

"In 1976 the Labour government lost its majority when John Stonehouse MP crossed the floor but the Committee of Selection continued to operate as if it had a majority. But that was eventually settled by a motion not that dissimilar to Tuesday's motion".

The Lib Dems point out the prime minister said in June she would "respond with humility and resolve to the message the electorate sent" at the election.



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