Mayors safe, in spite of Lords Section 28 defeat

10 Feb 00
The government has insisted that legislation creating directly elected mayors will still be law by the summer, despite this week's defeat in the House of Lords of part of the Local Government Bill.

11 February 2000

Peers voted not to repeal the controversial Section 28, which bans local authorities from promoting homosexuality. Repeal of Section 28 forms part of the legislation that also includes proposals for mayors.

'It will not delay the passage of the bill,' said a government source. 'It's vital that the bill gets royal assent before the summer.'

Ministers are still keen to see the first referendums for mayors take place in the autumn. Watford Borough Council and the London Borough of Lewisham could head this queue.

One option being considered by ministers, if agreement cannot be reached, is to move Section 28 to a single clause bill that would be introduced in the House of Commons at a later date.

This would allow ministers to proceed with legislation on new political structures unhindered.


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