Andrew Griffith has written to Dame Angela Eagle saying that, despite his repeated statements that the Government planned to publish its proposed public interest intervention power amendment soon, it will now not be able to do so in time for Committee stage. The power would allow the Treasury to direct a regulator to make, amend or revoke rules where there are matters of significant public interest. The letter states that the Government only ever intends this power to be used in extreme circumstances, but it is right that it should have the power and also that the power should be subject to appropriate safeguards. Mr Griffith says that because of the change in Prime Minister and the need for the government to consider the detail carefully, the amendment will not be published in time for Committee Stage.
In response, Dame Angela criticised the Government for not having introduced the power in the original Bill. She asked for confirmation that the power will be introduced in the House of Commons so MPs can examine it, and not left until the Lords, and also asks whether the Government will consult the regulators on it. She said the parliamentary process must also build in adequate time for the Committee to take evidence, scrutinise and table amendments to the power.