MPs hope to amend new company law

MPs Jonathan Djanogly (Huntingdon) and Shailesh Vara (North West Cambridgeshire) have persuaded the Government to change the name of the longest piece of legislation Parliament has ever considered. Both MPs are serving on the Commons standing committee of

MPs Jonathan Djanogly (Huntingdon) and Shailesh Vara (North West Cambridgeshire) have persuaded the Government to change the name of the longest piece of legislation Parliament has ever considered.

Both MPs are serving on the Commons standing committee of what used to be the Company Law Reform Bill, which is scrutinising the proposed legislation clause by clause.

In common with nearly every other piece of corporate legislation, it is now simply the Companies Bill, after back-bench Labour members of the committee supported a Conservative amendment, against the Government's initial wishes, to simplify it.

"When they saw the way the vote was going, even the Minister agreed," Mr Djanogly said.

The Bill, initially with nearly 900 clauses, has hundreds of Commons amendments tabled and yet more in the House of Lords.

The two MPs have joined members of the Shareholders Rights Alliance at a rally aimed at supporting shareholder democracy.

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The Alliance is campaigning to amend the Bill to ensure that nominee shareholders are granted rights to obtain company reports and accounts, information about bids for companies, the right to attend and speak at meetings and the right to vote.

Mr Djanogly said: "In the House of Lords, Conservatives managed to amend the Company Law Reform Bill to ensure that the nominee shareholders are treated fairly. The Government has since indicated that they will remove our amendments. In the short time now available, we hope that the Government will change its mind.