John's Priorities for our area...

  • Share The Facts about Weston & The Villages
  • Share The Facts about Weston & The Villages
  • Share The Facts about Weston & The Villages
  • Share The Facts about Weston & The Villages
  • Share The Facts about Weston & The Villages

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Speeches & Questions

  • Written Answers — Cabinet Office: Electoral Register: Juries (5 Feb 2016)
    John Penrose: The rules governing jury selection and composition are unaffected by the introduction of Individual Electoral Registration (IER). Potential jurors’ names are still selected at random from the electoral register. IER means that we can prove electors are genuine for the first time and is crucial in ensuring the registers used for jury selection are as accurate as possible.

  • Written Answers — Cabinet Office: General Election 2015: British Nationals Abroad (5 Feb 2016)
    John Penrose: 105,845 overseas electors were registered to vote in May 2015. The marked register, which records electors who have cast their vote, is not collated centrally. It is therefore not possible to tell how many overseas electors voted at the 2015 General Election.

  • Oral Answers to Questions — Cabinet Office: Political Engagement: Young People (27 Jan 2016)
    John Penrose: The hon. Gentleman raised this point with me a little while ago and asked about credit reference agencies, among others. We might be able to use other sources of data, but some base a lot of their information on the electoral roll itself, so we would need to ensure that the process did not become circular. There may be things that other people can add, however, and all sources of data offer...

  • Oral Answers to Questions — Cabinet Office: Political Engagement: Young People (27 Jan 2016)
    John Penrose: It is not quite that simple, but I sympathise with the hon. Lady, in that several new approaches that are being trialled in universities throughout the country are extremely promising. We want to pursue those, so perhaps the hon. Lady and I can discuss that further at our meeting later today.

  • Oral Answers to Questions — Cabinet Office: Political Engagement: Young People (27 Jan 2016)
    John Penrose: The Government’s new online electoral registration system has made it easier and quicker for everyone, especially young people, to register to vote. The process now takes less time than boiling an egg. We are also working with groups such as Bite The Ballot on the national voter registration drive, which is an excellent initiative to persuade more people to register to vote that runs...

  • Oral Answers to Questions — Cabinet Office: Political Engagement: Young People (27 Jan 2016)
    John Penrose: My hon. Friend deserves top marks for creative marketing ideas, but after the use of the Elizabeth Tower for unauthorised projections, including of Australian cricketers and various bits of Gail Porter, I am told that the subject excites strong passions in Westminster council and, quite possibly, the House authorities, so I should probably urge her to discuss her proposals carefully with them.

  • Oral Answers to Questions — Cabinet Office: Political Engagement: Young People (27 Jan 2016)
    John Penrose: Since the general election, we have debated this particular question four or five times-perhaps more-and collectively decided against it, with healthy majorities, on every single occasion. We can go over this again, and I am happy to have further debates with the hon. Lady as needed, but the House has made its collective decision plain.

  • Oral Answers to Questions — Cabinet Office: Political Engagement: Young People (27 Jan 2016)
    John Penrose: I do. My hon. Friend has set a great example and shown that public figures-even MPs-can stimulate interest and engagement in democracy.

  • Written Answers — Cabinet Office: Electoral Register: Young People (27 Jan 2016)
    John Penrose: Between 2013-2015 the Government allocated over £14 million at national and local level to increase the number of people on the electoral register. This included funding to organisations such as NUS, Bite The Ballot, UK Youth and vInspired to promote youth registration. We also produce and distribute "Rock Enrol!" educational material for schools to use in explaining and promoting...

  • Written Answers — Cabinet Office: Electoral Register (26 Jan 2016)
    John Penrose: Holding answer received on 22 January 2016 The electoral registers used for the 2015 General Election contained over 400,000 more entries than the last registers published prior to the introduction of Individual Electoral Registration (IER). As such, suggestions that IER would lead to a decline in registration levels were simply incorrect. While data is not available on the number...

  • Written Answers — Cabinet Office: Electoral Register: Costs (25 Jan 2016)
    John Penrose: Holding answer received on 22 January 2016 In financial years 2013/14 and 2014/15 the Government has spent £72 million in the transition to Individual Electoral Registration (IER). Of this, over £49 million was shared between all EROs in Great Britain, ensuring the transition to IER was fully funded. This included over £10 million that was allocated to local...

  • Written Answers — Cabinet Office: Electoral Register (22 Jan 2016)
    John Penrose: The Cabinet Office has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.

  • Space Policy: House of Lords Reform (14 Jan 2016)
    John Penrose: Will the hon. Gentleman clarify his point about former MPs? Would he draw any distinction between those who were defeated and those who have retired?

  • Space Policy: House of Lords Reform (14 Jan 2016)
    John Penrose: That is one of the principles that underlie the support of the many people who are in favour of an increase in democratic legitimacy. With a democratically elected second Chamber, it is much, much harder for the forces of reaction and special interests to win through, because the antidote to most of those things is normally greater democratic involvement. So I think the hon. Lady’s...

  • Space Policy: House of Lords Reform (14 Jan 2016)
    John Penrose: That is very helpful in clarifying the SNP’s view and it leads me to talk about opportunities for reform. I, and the Government, would certainly favour keeping a second Chamber and making it more effective if the opportunity ever presented itself. There are huge advantages to having an effective second Chamber here. I say that because often the level of scrutiny imposed on any...

  • Space Policy: House of Lords Reform (14 Jan 2016)
    John Penrose: If I can ask the hon. Gentleman to hold his horses, I hope to come back to that later. I am sure he will pick me up on that if I do not address it sufficiently. At this point, I should declare a small, non-financial family interest. A couple of years ago, my wife was appointed to the House of Lords. When she was appointed, I had to point out to her that I had a long track record of voting...

  • Space Policy: House of Lords Reform (14 Jan 2016)
    John Penrose: I add my congratulations to the hon. Member for West Dunbartonshire (Martin John Docherty) on securing this debate, and I thank the Backbench Business Committee for granting it. I think he said that it was his beginners plea when he made his case, but he knocked any sense of being a beginner into a cocked hat with his speech. He hoped that we would forgive his tendency for Celtic...

  • Space Policy: House of Lords Reform (14 Jan 2016)
    John Penrose: I would broaden out that point. It is hugely helpful, although not essential, for any constitutional change to be made with some cross-party agreement, if only because-this is one of the fundamental points of Britain’s unwritten constitution-people need to be happy not just with how things work when they are in government but when the shoe is on the other foot and they are...

  • Space Policy: House of Lords Reform (14 Jan 2016)
    John Penrose: Many of them are in the House of Lords. They are reduced to a small number of MPs, and none of them is here today. I regard that as a real tragedy because in the last Parliament, and in previous Parliaments, they-they have not been the only ones-were pressing the case for reform of the Lords and other constitutional reform. All of a sudden, when they are hugely over-represented in...

  • Space Policy: House of Lords Reform (14 Jan 2016)
    John Penrose: The hon. Lady made a series of powerful points, many of which I agreed with, but on that particular one I am respectfully going to disagree with her for a couple of reasons. We have heard from a number of different sides that the level of unprompted interest in the Dog and Duck in reform of the House of Lords is remarkably low. It might be quite high if we went along to the Bishops Bar, but...

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