Speakers in this debate:
I beg to move,
That, following the House’s decision on Wednesday 19 April that, in accordance with section 2(2) of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011, there should be an early parliamentary general election, together with the Prime Minister’s announcement that she will advise the Sovereign to appoint Thursday 8 June as the polling day so that Parliament will be dissolved on Wednesday 3 May, and in the knowledge that the by-election in the Borough Constituency of Manchester, Gorton, has been set for Thursday 4 May, Mr Speaker convey to the Clerk of the Crown the desire of this House that he do issue a writ of supersedeas to the writ issued on Tuesday 28 March for the said election.
The motion before the House provides for the by-election in the constituency of Manchester, Gorton, which was originally set for 4 May, to be cancelled in the light of the decision of this House yesterday to trigger an early general election. As the House will recall, that by-election was called to elect a Member to serve in the present Parliament. As this Parliament will be dissolved before the by-election date, it would clearly be otiose to go ahead with the by-election in those circumstances. An election for the Manchester, Gorton, constituency will take place as part of the general election on Thursday 8 June. As I said to the House on Tuesday, there is no statutory provision for the cancellation of a by-election, although there are various precedents. It is for the acting returning officer to cancel the by-election. The motion before the House provides certainty to the acting returning officer, at her request, by endorsing a new writ to supersede the original one.
The motion therefore requests you, Mr Speaker, to convey to the Clerk of the Crown the desire of this House that he issue a writ of supersedeas to the writ issued on Tuesday 28 March for the by-election. This will put beyond any doubt the authority of the acting returning officer to cancel the by-election process that is currently under way. I understand that this approach has the support of the other political parties in the House, as it avoids unnecessary expense and uncertainty for the candidates involved.