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  1. ITV Report

Government wins committee change vote amid 'power grab' warnings

The Government has won a vote which means it is guaranteed a majority on crucial legislative committees.

The controversial changes to parliamentary committees comes amid warnings the Government's proposals were a fresh "power grab" after the election.

A motion allowing the Conservatives to have a majority on committees that scrutinise legislation was approved by 320 votes to 301, majority 19.

The change will have an impact on public bill committees, which examine legislation line by line and will no longer mirror the make-up of the Commons but have an inbuilt Conservative majority instead.

If Tory committee members remain loyal, this would allow the Prime Minister to ensure legislation is passed without fear of opposition.

Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom argued the Conservative minority administration should be allowed to make progress on getting legislation through Parliament as it had secured a working majority by its confidence and supply arrangement with the DUP.

But opposition MPs accused the Government of a "constitutional outrage", saying its working majority in the Commons did not apply to the parliamentary committees.

Ms Leadsom said: "If the Government has a working majority to pass legislation on the floor of the House, then the Government should also be able to make progress with legislation in committees.

"We're getting on with the task set for us by voters, honouring the result of both the EU referendum and the General Election."

Ms Leadsom added that a Labour government in the 1970s had taken similar steps.

Shadow Commons leader Valerie Vaz accused the Government of a "power grab" over the changes.

She said the executive was "overreaching and overbearing" and insisted the motion was not based on precedent, standing orders, the constitution or democracy.