Wales politics

Wales Bill: Labour amendment ends in tie in House of Lords

Wales Bill

The UK Government has narrowly avoided defeat in the House of Lords over plans to re-write the devolution settlement.

Peers voted 222 to 222 on a Labour amendment to the Wales Bill that would transfer responsibility for industrial relations in public services in Wales to Cardiff.

By convention under a tied vote, the amendment was not carried.

Defeat could have delayed the passage of the bill into law as MPs would have been asked to overturn it.

The amendment would have allowed the Welsh Government to scrap parts of the controversial Trade Union Act in Wales.

Labour spokeswoman Baroness Morgan of Ely said she was "gutted" by the result.

Image caption Wales Office Minister Lord Bourne

AMs in Cardiff Bay are due to give their consent to the bill next Tuesday.

Earlier, Wales Office minister Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth was forced to apologise to peers after his absence prompted a five-minute suspension of the Lords.

He was absent from the government front bench when debate on the Wales Bill was due to begin.

Chief whip Lord Taylor of Holbeach ordered a five-minute adjournment of the House.

Peers cheered as Lord Bourne, ex-Welsh Tory leader, arrived minutes later.

"I do humbly apologise," he said.

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