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Legislative Council votes to progress removal of Bishop's vote

Six members voted in favour and two against

The Legislative Council has voted to progress a Bill that seeks to remove the bishop's vote.

However MLCs stopped short of requesting an 'evidence stage' which would have allowed witnesses to be called and new perspectives to be gathered.

Throughout proceedings today (11 June) members of LegCo spoke about the role the bishop plays within Tynwald with some saying they could 'respect the critical thinking' the religious figure possesses while being atheist.

Bill Henderson described repeated attempts to remove power from the bishop, despite previous attempts failing as 'sickening', and further believes the parliamentary setup of the Isle of Man - in its current form - is what gives the Island its 'uniqueness'.

Meanwhile Rob Mercer and Tanya August-Hanson stressed the importance of remaining impartial and "doing the job" they've been tasked with.

The private members' bill will now move to the 'clauses stage' enabling the Upper House to propose amendments and add new clauses.

Ramsey MHK Lawrie Hooper put forward the Bill as part of the political party Liberal Vannin's policy.

Its Chair, Paul Weatherall, told Manx Radio he was 'very pleased' to see LegCo "make the chamber a little more democratic".

In favour of progressing the Bill past the principles stage:

  • Tanya August-Hanson (mover)
  • Robert Mercer (seconded)
  • Kerry Sharpe
  • Paul Craine
  • Diane Kelsey
  • Dawn Kinnish

Against processing the Bill past the principles stage:

  • Bill Henderson
  • Peter Greenhill

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