Theresa May accused of 'unprecedented power grab'

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Jeremy Corbyn accused Theresa May of an “unprecedented power grab” after the Government moved to give itself an automatic majority on dozens of key Commons committees.

Commons leader Andrea Leadsom put down a motion that, if passed on Tuesday, will give the Conservatives a casting vote on committees that scrutinise new laws and hold departments to account.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn tweeted: “An unprecedented attempt to rig parliament and grab power by a Conservative government with no majority and no mandate.”

Government sources scorned his claim that it was unusual, saying that Labour did exactly the same in 1976 when the legendary whip Walter Harrison was holding together a minority Government.

They also said opposition parties could stage votes on the floor of the whole House at the Report Stage of a Bill on any amendment.

Without the measures, Labour could “just clog everything up” in committees with too many amendments.

The row comes as the Government faces a fierce battle to get its Brexit agenda through Parliament.

Opposition parties, and some Tory MPs, have also protested the sweeping nature of the EU (Withdrawal) Bill, which they say gives ministers regal powers to “rule by decree”.


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