17 May 2009

The Speaker: The Commons must be united in wanting him to go

Nick Clegg on Marr:

I believe the Speaker must go. We need somebody at the heart of Westminster to lead a process of wholesale radical reform. He is supposed to embody the Commons. He has been dragging his feet on reform.

William Hague on Sunday Live:

The leaders of the two major parties should not call for his resignation but that, should it come to a vote in the Commons, it should be a free vote.

This is clearly reaching crisis point now. This has to be resolved immediately if the House of Commons is to go about its business and the public to have confidence in it. It must be resolved one way or another this week.

David Miliband on the Politics Show:

It is very important that at no stage the government trys to tell parliament how to behave.

A few observations.

If Martin resigns immediately, what then?  Does he leave the Commons and force a by-election (which may never get called and Brown will not want) or does he stay on as an MP but play no part in Commons proceedings?

If Martin announces his intention to resign and chooses to go at a time of his own choosing, will this be accepted?

If Martin faces the no confidence vote and wins, due to tacit Labour and Tory support, because neither want a new Speaker at this stage of the Parliament,  Clegg is left in a very exposed position.

If Martin faces the no confidence vote and losses, either narrowly or by a large margin, he is left humiliated.  A far from ideal position.

Finally, although Brown cannot voice a view in public his role is critical.  If he moves against the Speaker, then Martin will have no choice but to resign.  At present, it is not apparent whether he will do this.

There is no question that Michael Martin has lost the confidence of the MPs.  However, it is not clear at present whether the Commons is united in wanting the Speaker to go.

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1 comment:

  1. Ah'm gaein' naewhere, ye hear me! Mah pal Gordon, he'll help me oot! He'll get a' thae Labour baw-bags in line tae get me through ony vote!