Parliamentary Standards Bill and Constitutional Reform and Renewal: Government Responses to the Committee's Seventh and Eleventh Reports of Session 2008-09 - Justice Committee Contents


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 response.

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


 
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