§ Mr. Spearing
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will tabulate in the Official Report any changes made in the current European Assemblies Bill from that introduced in the last Session.
§ Mr. John
The European Assembly Elections Bill now before the House is substantially the same as the Bill which received a Second Reading last Session. There are the following minor changes:
Clause 1: re-worded to make it clear that the Bill refers solely to the election of United Kingdom members of the Assembly.
Clause 2: omits reference to Article 2 of the Council Decision.31W
*Clause 6(4)(b) and Schedule 1, paragraph 2(4)(b): provides for the adaptation of existing electoral forms for Assembly election purposes.
Clause 7(2) and Schedule 5, paragraph 1(a): provides for the Schedule 5 promotion procedure to be initiated when an election court has determined that a candidate was disqualified at the time of his election.
Clause 10(2) and Schedule 1, paragraph 6(2): provides that a court may require security for costs of up to £200 in proceedings alleging disqualification.
Clause 14: re-worded to clarify arrangements for payment of returning officers' expenses.
Schedule 4, rule 43: provides for constables on duty to be admitted to the count without signing a declaration of secrecy.
Schedule 4, rule 55: provides for a simpler calculation to determine whether a candidate has lost his deposit.
Schedule 5, rule 3: provides that returning officers should give public notice when a vacancy is filled without a by-election.
* No changes in the numbering of Clauses have been made.
Clause 6(4)(c) of last Session's Bill on regulations covering consequences of a candidate's death has been omitted in favour of more specific provision in Schedule 4, rules 16, 52 and 54.