At the end of October the Labour Party in the Lords, supported by the Lib Dems and some cross-bench peers, suddenly brought forward a highly controversial amendment to the Bill designed to rule out any changes to constituency boundaries before the 2015 election .This would perpetuate the advantage which Labour enjoys under the existing unfair constituency boundaries.
The independent Lords’ experts who advise on such matters—the Clerks of the House—ruled that the new clause was outside the scope of the Electoral Registration and Administration Bill and should be withdrawn. Labour refused to back down and consideration of the Bill was suspended.
This happened just as Lord(Alistair) Lexden was about to move amendments—originally brought forward in the Commons by Geoffrey Clifton Brown -- calling for the removal of the 15-year limit on overseas voting and for changes to make it easier for overseas voters to register and to vote. These amendments are strongly supported by Conservatives Abroad. Geoffrey and Alistair are acting on our behalf.
The impasse created by Labour in October has still not been resolved. Nevertheless, consideration of the Bill will be resumed in the Lords on January 14.
Chairman Conservatives Abroad