Baroness Jenny Jones

Green Party peer Jenny Jones has said she has ‘growing confidence’ that the House of Lords will vote down government amendments to the Levelling Up Bill that would scrap pollution rules for housebuilders.

If the amendments are voted down, the government would not be able to reintroduce them to the Levelling Up Bill. Instead, they would have to bring forward separate legislation, which would be unlikely to find sufficient time in the parliamentary timetable in order to pass.

A vote on the amendments is likely to take place on Wednesday.

Jones said:  “Many more peers are now convinced that we should reject the government amendments outright, rather than try to revise them with well drafted improvements that can, and will, be over turned in the Commons. Rejecting amendments outright is a power that the Lords can exercise when the government introduces late amendments that have not gone through the proper parliamentary process of scrutiny.

“Two years ago, I helped lead a Lords rebellion that successfully blocked an 18 page government amendment to the Police, Crime and Sentencing bill. This forced the government to return with a separate bill, introduced via the House of Commons a year later. With a general election due next year, I doubt the government will devote parliamentary time to this polluters’ charter, especially with the water industry already making such a mess of our rivers.

“I have a growing confidence that we can win this vote if Labour to work with other Opposition peers to stop these destructive plans, which are driven by developer donations to the Conservative Party. It would certainly enhance the environmental credentials of Angela Rayner, as Labour’s new shadow spokesperson on levelling up. People are furious about their poisoned waterways and these changes by the government will just make things worse.”

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Image credit: Heinrich-Boll Stiftung – Creative Commons