| Appendix 1: Government response (Parliamentary
Standards Bill) |
I would like to thank the Justice Committee for its
continued interest in the Government's legislative programme and
in particular your report; Constitutional Reform and Renewal:
Parliamentary Standards Bill, published on 1 July.
As you know on 30 June I submitted a response to
Malcolm Jack's memorandum on the Parliamentary Standards Bill.
The Bill was amended during its parliamentary passage and the
provisions concerning parliamentary privilege were removed from
the Bill before it left the House of Commons. During the debate
I made it clear that we would respect the will of Parliament and
so the Government did not attempt to overturn these amendments
to the Bill in the House of Lords.
The Act received Royal Assent on 21 July and provides
for an independent, transparent and robust system for the regulation
of MPs' allowances and the registration of financial interests.
I believe that it was necessary to act decisively to respond to
the wide-spread public concern about the alleged abuses of the
MP's expenses system and that this legislation was the appropriate
I believe that Parliament proved that it was able
effectively to scrutinise the Bill, which was demonstrated by
lively debates in both Houses and the select committee reports
on the Bill by your Committee, the Lords' Constitution Committee
and the Joint Committee on Human Rights.
Rt Hon Jack Straw MP
Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor
Ministry of Justice
24 September 2009