Labour has accused the Conservative administration of “pulling its own business” after the Commons leader told MPs the Government “will not move” the second reading of the Data Protection and Digital Information Bill.
Making a business statement, Mark Spencer told MPs: “It may help if I inform the House that following the election of the new leader of the Conservative Party, the business managers have agreed that the Government will not move the second reading and other motions relating to the Data Protection and Digital Information Bill today.
“This will allow ministers to further consider this legislation. The remainder of this week’s business is as I announced on 21st July.”
The move prompted shadow Commons leader Thangam Debbonaire to claim it was “more evidence of a zombie Government and a party divided”.
She said: “It doesn’t really seem as though the Government has got their house in order or any of the business in order because this is the first day back.
“Already the Government is pulling its own business even though this data Bill fell well short on ambition, it was supposed to unlock growth and business opportunities.
“What has the Government got against growth and business opportunities? As if we needed more evidence of a zombie Government and a party divided, they won’t even carry on with a pretty uncontentious Bill.
“So could I ask the leader of the House why has this important Bill been pulled? Does the Culture Secretary not support her own Bill anymore? When will it be rescheduled? Is the Government planning to drop it completely? Is the Government planning to drop any other legislation?”
“Vital parliamentary time” she argued could have been used to “legislate for Labour’s plan to freeze the energy price cap which would have stopped families paying a penny more on energy this winter”.
She added: “Our soon to be prime minister has said she wants to take immediate action on the soaring energy crisis, where’s the plan? We could have been doing it this evening. Can he give us any idea at all of when this Government is going to get a move on or the next Government, or any Government and bring forward legislation to tackle this Tory cost-of-living emergency.”
Mr Spencer replied the Government announced a £37 billion package earlier this year to support people with the cost of living.
He added: “That is a huge investment and once the new prime minister is established, I’m sure that she (Liz Truss) will come forward rapidly with her plan and she will see on this side of the House a united Conservative Party, firmly behind the prime minister, delivering for the people of this country.”
Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries was due to set out how the “unnecessary bureaucracy” of data protection laws inherited from the EU would be replaced during a scheduled Commons debate of the Bill on Monday.