Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg says Speaker should go

May 17, 2009 at 2:32 pm Leave a comment

The Leader of the Liberal Democrats has called on the Speaker of the House of Commons to step down.

Nick Clegg is the first party leader to speak out against Michael Martin, who is expected to face a no confidence motion in the Commons tomorrow.

Traditionally MPs do not speak out against or criticise the Speaker.

Mr Martin has angered some MPs with his reaction to press reports about their expenses.

The Daily Telegraph‘s revelations about some MPs’ claims have dominated the news agenda for more than a week, and some perceive the Speaker to be a road block to root and branch reform of the current system.

Mr Clegg told the BBC:

“I do not think the Speaker should be made a scapegoat … for the individual failings of many MPs.

“But equally I do not think we can afford the luxury of a Speaker, who is supposed to embody Westminster, who has been dragging his feet on transparency and greater accountability in the way MPs receive their expenses.”

Tory MP Douglas Carswell announced last week that he would table a motion of no confidence in the Speaker, and it is understood to have the support of a handful of Labour and Lib Dem MPs.

If it is tabled it will be the first attempt to oust a Speaker for more than 300 years.


Entry filed under: Commons. Tags: , , , , .

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