HC Deb 25 February 2002 vol 380 c682W
40. Dr. Julian Lewis

To ask the right hon. Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission what reviews they intend to carry out relating to the wording of referendum questions. [34270]

Mr. Beith

The wording of a national or regional referendum question will normally be specified in the Bill providing for the holding of the referendum. As soon as reasonably practicable after the Bill is introduced, the Commission, as required by the Political Parties, Referendums and Elections Act 2000, will consider the wording of the question and publish a statement of its views, if any, as to the intelligibility of the question. A recent Electoral Commission paper on the conduct of mayoral referendums reported some concerns about the wording of the question, and I understand that the Commission is in discussion with the Government as to whether it might be improved.