Bill addition under fire

HUNTINGDON MP Jonathan Djanogly has criticised the Government for adding a late clause to the longest Bill in parliamentary history that would add to companies reporting requirements. Mr Djanogly and Shailesh Vara, MP for North West Cambridgeshire, are b

HUNTINGDON MP Jonathan Djanogly has criticised the Government for adding a late clause to the longest Bill in parliamentary history that would add to companies' reporting requirements.

Mr Djanogly and Shailesh Vara, MP for North West Cambridgeshire, are both members of the House of Commons committee that considered what started life as the Company Law Reform Bill - now simply the Companies Bill - aimed at slashing red tape for industry and commerce.

The Bill, now at Report Stage, started life with 880 clauses. It currently has 1,264 clauses and 16 schedules, but two more schedules and further clauses are expected to be tabled.

Mr Djanogly said: "The effect of this amendment will be significant and wide-ranging. The proposed wording is broad, vague and unclear. It may require companies to report on their relationship with banks, auditors, and customers as well as supply chains.

"We consider it unacceptable that the Government is making this significant policy change at such a late stage and without giving other parties the chance to examine the proposal properly. After eight years of consulting on company law reform, the Government have hurriedly drafted this amendment without proper consultation just to keep a few Labour back-benchers quiet.

"Amending this Bill at this late stage is not the right way to deal with this important question.

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