Read Amendment in Full: Tory MPs Launch Coup Against Standards Committee

It looks like fireworks are set to arrive in Parliament two days early this year, after Tory MPs, Whips and No. 10 announced a surprise assault on the existing MPs’ Standards Committee; arguing it’s “biased against Tories and Brexiteers”, with rulings becoming inconsistent. The standing order battle comes as Tory MPs attempt to block the Standards Committee’s 30-day suspension recommendation of Owen Paterson following a lobbying investigation.

While one amendment (B) to the motion this afternoon merely calls for Paterson’s suspension to be scrapped on compassionate grounds – following the suicide of his wife – Amendment A, published in full this morning, calls for a tearing up the whole Standards Committee system as it currently stands. The amendment is backed by at least 59 MPs…

The amendment sets out proposals for a new Standards Committee structure, involving eight backbench MPs in proportional make-up of the parties – four Conservative, three Labour and one SNP – with John Whittingdale as chair being given the deciding vote. The opposition parties are accusing the government of attempting to mark their own homework. Jon Ashworth has noted on Twitter “A fish rots from the head down”…

Guido is not convinced this is a good idea at all. Ten years after the expenses scandal, MPs are set on the neutralising of the checks on MPs’ misbehaviour. IPSA and the Standards Commissioner are slowly yet surely undergoing regulatory recapture by MPs. It will end badly…

On the Today Programme, Sir Bernard Jenkin – a backer of Amendment A – argues “We have had a bad system for years and years. This is an opportunity to fix it. We are not letting Owen Paterson off the hook.” Guido is more sympathetic to the suspension being suspended on exceptional compassionate grounds. In the end this row may all be for nothing – Sir Lindsay has to pick the amendment first…

Read the amendment and list of signatories in full:

Read More

mdi-timer 3 November 2021 @ 08:54 3 Nov 2021 @ 08:54 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Bernard Jenkin’s Teary Tribute for Cheryl Gillan

It’s rare to see this much emotion in the House…

mdi-timer 13 April 2021 @ 12:54 13 Apr 2021 @ 12:54 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
WATCH: Boris Rails Against Silly Corona Rules

A clearly frustrated Boris at the Liaison Committee this afternoon railed against the idea that Huw Merriman could not ask a question due to tech problems when he is in the same building and there was plenty of room in the Committee Room. A freshly libertarian Boris said:

“By the looks of things he’s in Portcullis House… he could literally walk in here Bernard. I mean we could do this incredibly thing called actual propinquity. It’s a revolutionary concept. In a Covid secure way Huw could come and sit here.”

Boris clearly not keen on pettifogging rules…

mdi-timer 24 March 2021 @ 17:07 24 Mar 2021 @ 17:07 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Bernard Jenkin Calls on Dido Harding to Resign
mdi-timer 25 October 2020 @ 09:40 25 Oct 2020 @ 09:40 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Bernard Jenkin Kindly Offers to Lead Coronavirus Inquiry

Bernard Jenkin has this morning suggested an inquiry into the first phase of Coronavirus response could be vital for learning lessons before a potential second peak in the winter. Speaking to PoliticsLive today, Jenkin suggested a new inquiry could be run by Parliament rather than externally, like the Banking Standards Commission which was chaired by Andrew Tyrie. Jenkin further floated this new high profile inquiry it could be run by the Liaison Committee. Which he just so happens to chair….

UPDATE: Think Bernard’s serious, not just bloviating on air, he’s issued a statement:

“It is essential that the UK is prepared for a second wave of coronavirus later this year. We do not want another Chilcot-type inquiry at this stage, but medics are right to call for a swift cross-party ‘lessons learned’ exercise to be completed by October.  This would not only contribute to UK’s readiness for a new Covid peak but would also strengthen public confidence in the government’s readiness.

“It should be led by Parliament and commissioned as soon as possible by the government.  The Commons Liaison Committee could be a vehicle for this, or the government could ask Parliament to follow the model of the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards, which was set up after the banking crash and which will still be able to draw on cross-party expertise from Lords and Commons. It is vital that we work together and make the most of the opportunity to learn from recent experience, before a possible new wave of Covid.”

mdi-timer 24 June 2020 @ 12:40 24 Jun 2020 @ 12:40 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Government Changing Law to Scrap Committee Chair Term Limits

Poring over the Order Paper as he always does, Guido spotted a fascinating Standing Order vote coming up later today and being pushed by the government – to abolish Committee Chairs’ term limits. Very Putinesque. Paving the way for grandees like Bernard Jenkin and Clive Betts to stay on past their impending term limit…

There are many luxuries to having a large majority, but few anticipated rule changes like these coming up. Guido understands the Tory old guard have been banging on about seeing such a change for a while, feeling some select committee chairs have been shortchanged by the term limits because of the successively short parliamentary sessions since 2015. Will we see further parliamentary reforms from the government like this over the next five years?

mdi-timer 16 January 2020 @ 10:32 16 Jan 2020 @ 10:32 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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