Devolution: A Decade On - Justice Committee Contents

Memorandum submitted by Denis Latimer

  When candidates for election to the UK Parliament seek support in Scottish constituencies, they do not undertake to represent their voters' interests regarding matters which have been devolved to the Scottish Parliament and when seeking re-election they do not have to answer to their constituents for action they have taken regarding such matters. They therefore have no democratic mandate to deal with such matters and cannot be regarded as representing their constituents when doing so.

  Before devolution was introduced, all MPs represented their constituents for the full range of Parliamentary responsibilities but MPs from Scotland ceased to do so subsequently. That they have been allowed to continue participating in all aspects of government outside Scotland was a major, undeclared, undemocratic change in the UK constitution.

  The way the "West Lothian question" was raised only served to confuse the real issue. The point is not where these MPs were elected but that they do not fully represent their voters. We claim to be a representative democracy and, as such, we cannot reasonably have MPs taking part in matters for which nobody has chosen them as their representatives.

  Surely this is an anomaly which the Constitutional Affairs Committee should seriously consider.

March 2007

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