The whiff of political sleaze has spread to the UK’s upper house after two Labour peers were suspended for offering to amend laws in exchange for money. It is the first time for more than 350 years that any member of the House of Lords has been excluded.
With trust in politicians from both houses and all the main parties at rock bottom, the government is pushing through reforms ahead of the local and European elections in June. But the opposition Conservatives, surging way ahead in the polls, are pushing hard for a snap general election to allow voters to pass judgement on the scandal that has badly tarnished the “Mother of Parliaments.” The controversy which led to the resignation of the Speaker of the House of Commons Michael Martin has hurt all the major parties, but particularly Labour. Latest research suggests the Conservatives now have a 16 point lead. If Labour do badly in the elections in June, it could spark a leadership challenge for Gordon Brown and raise pressure on him to bring forward the Parliamentary election.