You know all the hoo ha over MP expenses and the subsequent setting up of the independent Kelly Commission to recommend how to proceed to take all of this out of MPs’ own hands?
Well – the recommendation was for an Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) to be set up. All Parliament had to do for it to come into being was rubber stamp its’ setting up and the people to be on it with a straightforward motion to the House.
It was truly dreadful, therefore, to find that the Tories had tabled an amendment to this motion to remove one of the people proposed (independently) to serve on it. We had all agreed, cross party, to abide by the Kelly recommendations and keep well out of anything to do with its composition or anything. And here were the Tories still trying to fiddle and change outcomes – even when we are now desperate to get politics cleaned up and sorted. But they still don’t get it.
To stop them – we used a pretty obscure procedure which resulted in the amendment not being put but leaving the main motion setting up IPSA to be passed.
David Heath our Shadow Leader of the House said this:
“We managed tonight to prevent Parliament making a mockery of the independence of IPSA. MPs should not be picking and choosing the members of the authority in charge of MPs expenses. Nor should Conservative MPs be second-guessing a fair and open competitive selection process. We may have had to use an obscure procedure, but we kept Parliament honest.”
As I said to David Heath, ‘IPSA FACTO’! (my first and only Latin joke!).