Bishop of Isle of ManThank you Mr. Speaker 

Firstly, can I take this opportunity to thank those Hon Members that supported my adjournment request back in December 2023, which allowed this draft legislation to go through a full and proper public consultation.  

The findings of that consultation have now been presented back to Hon. Members for further consideration.  

However, simply laying the report or receiving the report is not sufficient in my opinion. 

It was my full intention to bring this report before the House this morning, in order to give all Hon Members a fair opportunity to discuss and debate the findings of this Public Consultation, and before we move onto the Clauses stage of the Bill. 

It would have also minimised any further delay in respect of this draft legislation going through the Branches. 

Unfortunately, the mover of the Bill was not happy with my proposal or the direction I was taking. Therefore, I am now asking this House for a further adjournment until Tuesday 23rd April 2024, in order to give Hon Members a fair opportunity to debate the findings of this public consultation before we consider the Clauses stage of the Bill.   

Mr Speaker 

Before I move my adjournment, I would like to thank Mr Hooper for undertaking the public Consultation between January and February this year….

…and can I also offer my sincere apologies to my Hon colleague from Ramsey, because in my opinion he should have had full access to the Government’s Consultation Hub back in January, which is considered to be the central point for the Manx public to access any current public consultations being undertaken. 

As I mentioned in one of my emails on the subject to a number of Hon Members in this House, the Governments Consultation Hub just needed to be very clear from the outset that that the “Constitution Bill 2023” was a “private member’s bill”, and not a “Government Bill”….

….and that all contact details and submissions should go through the Clerk of Tynwald’s Office or the Member moving the Bill themselves personally, and not the Cabinet Office. 

It really shouldn’t have been that difficult. 

In my opinion, no Hon Member of this House should be left in such an awkward or difficult position, in order to fulfil the will of this House…

….and I sincerely hope that the Clerk of Tynwald’s Office and the Cabinet Office resolve this issue as quickly as possible, and before any other Hon Member brings forward a private member’s Bill that requires a public consultation to be undertaken. 

As I mentioned in previous debates, I consider the removal of the Lord Bishop’s vote to be a major constitutional and historical change in respect of the workings of our Manx Parliament…

….and if the Hon Member for Ramsey, Mr Hooper continues to push hard for this draft legislation to go through this House without giving Hon Members sufficient time, and a fair opportunity to discuss the findings of the Public Consultation, then I would urge all Hon Members of this House to vote down this draft legislation as this stage.     

I beg to move the adjournment in my name. 

Thank you Mr Speaker