Equality Bill set to be rushed through now general election has been called

MPs could be forced to throw out most Lords amendments to the Equality Bill today in a bid to rush through the legislation before parliament is dissolved ahead of the general election.

As prime minister Gordon Brown announced the general election will be held on Thursday 6 May, as many as eight Bills face being rushed through in two days in an emergency ‘wash-up’ motion, according to the Guardian.

Leader of the Commons Harriet Harman is expected to push through an emergency business motion today to secure the fate of the Bills, which will go through ‘wash-up’ on Wednesday and Thursday.

One of the Bills intended to be rushed through is the referendum on a new voting system for the Commons. However, standing orders needed to bring the reforms into effect may not be passed in time.

Conservatives Lords will have significant influence over which Bills – or sections of Bills – they will allow onto the statute book, even if the Tories do not have the power to block Bills altogether.

Recent Lords amendments to the Equality Bill include the ban on pre-employment health checks to stop rogue employers deciding whether or not to hire somebody based on medical reasons.

Technically, parliament could still be sitting until Monday, the newspaper reports.

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