house of keysMHKs voice concerns over calls for public vote on assisted dying

An MHK says calls for a referendum on assisted dying legislation is an attempt to ‘throw the proposals into the long grass’.

Onchan member Rob Callister made the comments at this morning’s sitting of the House of Keys.

Ayre and Michael MHK Alfred Cannan has been facing questions from his colleagues as the House sits as a committee, ahead of moving his amendment seeking support for a public vote on the issue.

Having heard about plans to update referendum legislation, Mr Callister said he wasn’t convinced:

Meanwhile, a minister has accused the chief minister of trying to rush through an amendment to referendum legislation without consulting with his Council of Ministers colleagues.

Minister for Health and Social Care Lawrie Hooper raised concerns over proposals being put forward by Mr Cannan at this morning’s sitting of the House of Keys.

Mr Cannan told his colleagues the current referendum act would need to be updated before a public vote could take place.

He said the amendment would come from CoMin to enable a referendum once work on the proposed legislation is complete.

But the Ramsey MHK wasn’t in favour:

Glenfaba and Peel MHK Tim Crookall questioned the timing of the calls for a referendum, questioning whether this should have been discussed when permission was first granted to look into the topic:

Responding to some of the issues raised, Mr Cannan said some members were trying to make matters more complicated than they need to be:

You can following continuing coverage of this morning’s sitting of the House of Keys on Manx Radio’s AM frequencies.