The longest session since World War two began on April 18th 1966. It was the first meeting of the new parliament which had been elected on March 31st 1966 (trivia point - the myth that a World Cup win helped Labour, the party in power to a massive election victory - is exposed, the World Cup Final was on 30 July 1966 !!!). As with most parliaments elected in the middle of the year, the first session ran until prorogation on 27th October 1967.
Sir George Young announced, in a written ministerial statement, that "the Government have decided that the current session of Parliament will run until around Easter 2012. The next state opening of Parliament will therefore take place shortly afterwards." The first meeting of the current Parliament was on May 18th. The record of 1966-67 will not only be broken (that will happen on 27th November 2011) - but SMASHED.
For information: Easter 2012 will be celebrated on Sunday 8th April 2012. - a little over four months later (a session usually lasts 12 months, save for a slightly longer first session).
Denis MacShane yesterday said in the House of Commons - "It cannot be acceptable that a decision to abolish next year's Queen's Speech was not made in person to the House. Will he confirm that the Government have not discussed this constitutional change with Opposition parties via the usual channels, but that instead that he made his announcement in a wholly unilateral manner? This represents a major shift of power to the Executive at the expense of the people. Time is power in this or any democratic Parliament. This constitutional change allows the Government two years to extend their legislation, unlike the normal constitutional convention that a Bill not made into law within the year falls. Yes, there are carry-over provisions, but pushing the Queen's Speech back to 2012 is a major power grab by the Executive"
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