HC Deb 13 July 1999 vol 335 cc113-4W
Mr. Jim Murphy

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people attended each public meeting of the Independent Commission on the Voting System. [90527]

Mr. George Howarth

I refer my hon. Friend to the reply given in another place by my noble Friend the Minister of State, Home Office, Lord Williams, on 7 July 1998,Official Report, column 124.

Mr. Hesford

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what consultation he(a) has held and (b) will hold in formulating his Department's response to paragraph 46 of the Home Affairs Committee's Fourth report of Session 1997–98 (HC768) on Electoral Law and Administration; and if he will respond to the recommendation in that paragraph. [90991]

Mr. George Howarth

Following official contacts with MIND, the Working Party on Electoral Procedures, which I Chair, has recommended that the restrictions on using psychiatric hospitals for the purposes of electoral registration should be removed, except for those who are detained as a result of criminal activity. It has also recommended that the requirement for a voluntary patient to complete an additional declaration before being registered to vote should be lifted. These recommendations are broadly in line with paragraph 46 of the Home Affairs Committee report referred to by my hon. Friend. A formal response will be made to the Committee when the final report of my Working Party is published in full later this summer.