by Stephen Tall on February 3, 2009
I flagged up last night that yesterday was the Lib Dems’ opposition day in the House of Commons, and that the party used it to stake out its stance on the two biggest topical matters of the moment – Vince Cable spoke of the recession, while Lib Dem shadow leader of the House David Heath advocated the need for constitutional reform to remedy Parliamentary standards. Here’s the motion he begged to move:
That this House believes that the United Kingdom needs and deserves a Parliament that is fit for purpose and free from the taint of partial interests; is dismayed by the slow pace of reform which has failed to deal effectively with the opportunities for abuse; welcomes the suggestions from Liberal Democrat members of the House of Lords to introduce powers to suspend and expel Members of that House, require Peers to declare any interest in all legislation, make all Members of that House resident in the United Kingdom for tax purposes, put the Lords Appointments Commission on a statutory basis, bring Members of both Houses into the remit of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, and tighten up on the issuing of passes to Parliament; believes however that there is now an urgent need to bring forward plans for an elected House as agreed by a majority of hon. Members; is concerned at the lack of progress on the Prime Minister’s constitutional renewal programme; is disappointed that current legislation fails to provide for limits on donations or spending by political parties; calls for urgent and effective action to reduce parties’ dependence on large donors and trade union interests; believes that comprehensive reform of the procedures of the House is essential to enable it to scrutinise Government and the spending of taxpayers’ money more effectively; and recognises the need for urgent action to restore the trust of the British public in Parliament as an institution and in politics as a profession.