British MPs have been given more details of how the Prime Minister intends to clean up politics. Gordon Brown addressed the House of Commons knowing that recent parliamentary expenses’ scandals had seen voters’ views of politicians sink to an all-time low. He said that current expenses’ rules are outdated, and need independent regulation if politicians are to regain public trust.
“We propose that the House of Commons and then, subsequently, the House of Lords, moves from the old system of self-regulation to independent statutory regulation,” said Brown. “This will mean the immediate creation of new parliamentary standards authority, it will have delegated power to regulate the system of allowances. No more can Westminster operate in ways reminiscent of the last century, when MPs make up the rules and operate them amongst themselves.” The Opposition rejected Brown’s plans as insufficient, saying Britain needs not simply new rules but a new government. “He has spoken a lot about constitutional change and innovation,” said Conservative leader David Cameron. “But, of course, isn’t the real change we need a really simple innovation? Isn’t the answer to our discredited politics, to our disillusioned country and our desperately-weak government, a general election?” The Prime Minister spoke following Labour’s worst electoral performance for a century. He has vowed not to quit, and has beaten off a mutiny within his own party. But a general election must be held in Britain within 12 months, one the Conservatives are expected to win.