New Statesman, 22 December 2015

Researcher Will Mosseri-Marlio wrote an article for the New Statesman arguing that suggested reforms to the House of Lords should not weaken the ability of the second chamber to scrutinise secondary legislation. Will wrote:

“Eroding Parliament’s already inadequate scrutinising function increases the risk of poor legislation. The government should tackle, rather than exacerbate, this lack of democratic accountability. Beefing up the oversight function of the House of Commons would be a good place to start. The existing committee system for revising legislation gives a partisan group of MPs, who often have no experience in the area, the duty to hold the government to account: those being scrutinised are effectively managing the scrutiny. As Reform has argued in A Parliament of lawmakers, handing the more expert and independent select committees this function would be a step in the right direction.

“Checks and balances do not tend to exercise the British electorate. However, dry constitutional questions – such as the one addressed by Lord Strathclyde – are crucial to ensuring a Parliament can hold the executive to account. Resisting the immediate political benefits of accepting Lord Strathclyde’s proposals will be difficult for a Prime Minister with a slim majority in the House of Commons, and no majority in the House of Lords. Nevertheless, he must do so in the national interest.”

WMM staggers

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