Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Nick Clegg promises Recall Elections legislation next year

Nick Clegg scored another Lib Dem win for the Coalition Government by revealing at today's Deputy Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons. In response to a question by Liberal Democrat MP for East Dunbartonshire Jo Swinson, he announced that legislation will be introduced next year to give constituents the right to sack an MP convicted of serious wrongdoing.

Under this proposal, if 10% of constituents expressed a wish for a recall election, it would be held.

Nick called for this last year - in fact it was one of a raft of proposals he wanted enacted over last Summer instead of MPs going on holiday. The other party leaders eventually came round to agreeing with him.

Other highlights of the session included:

  • Nick being very passionate on meaningful devolution of power to the people, giving them real power on things like health and policing;
  • David Blunkett making an idiot of himself by saying that nothing should be done as regards equal constituencies until 100% of people were on the electoral register. It was easy for Nick to compare Labour's inaction in 13 years on this with their assiduousness on it now.
  • A Tory asking about the Great Repeal Bill and Nick answering by using our term for it, the Freedom Bill. I think our's sounds much better and more positive.
  • Jack Straw prefacing a question about who's in charge of the Government during holidays with the phrase "assuming he and the Prime Minister aren't on holiday in Montana today." I suggest he reads Liberal England on this - and reflects on Jonathan's definition of ignorant which is utterly appropriate in this instance.
  • A Labour MP made a futile attempt to make political capital by stating 150 Labour MPs voted against Iraq war and asking how many of Nick's coalition partners did. Nick dealt with that very effectively by praising the MPs who voted against.
I think Nick's becoming much more assured, while continuing true to his own principles and personality, in dealing with these occasions. Yes, Jo fed him an easy question, which I normally don't like to see, but it did enable him to give the House new and meaningful information so we'll overlook that this once.

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