BUSINESS QUESTION – CANDIDATES' ADDRESSES – 26 March 2009

Dr Julian Lewis: The Political Parties and Elections Bill is now before the Upper House. The Leader of the House may be aware that two Liberal Democrat peers have tabled an amendment to strike out the new clause about confidentiality of candidates' home addresses, which was included in the Bill after a free vote for Conservative and Labour Members, but a whipped vote against for Liberal Democrats. What would the Government's attitude be in the strange event of the Upper House deciding to overrule a free vote in the Lower House about whether our home addresses have to be revealed when we stand for election – something that Members of the Upper House, fortunately for them, do not have to do?

[The Leader of the House of Commons (Ms Harriet Harman): I voted for the hon. Gentleman's amendment on a free vote. I assume that if the issue comes back to this House, it will be subject to a free vote again, and I would vote for it again. Our constituents are entitled to know whether candidates live in the constituency, but they should not necessarily know the flat number or road, so the amendment was a sensible one.]