Government reaffirms commitment to reform politics

The Justice Minister, speaking in the wake of the Kelly Report on MPs’ expenses, says the Government is committed to widescale reform of the political system.

Justice Minister Micheal Wills used the launch of the Kelly Report this morning to re-iterate the Government’s commitment to reform of the political system.

Speaking at the Institute for Public Policy Research’s “A Future For Politics” event, Mr Wills – who had addressed the Commons on his plans in July and October – explained the thinking behind the proposals.

He said:

“The Ministry of Justice is starting a series of deliberative events in which the public will have the final say on policy. These are not focus groups, but more independent of government. At the moment the system is set up to isolate and insulate us.

“The events will be held in London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Sheffield, and Newcastle with 100 randomly selected citizens. It will cover whole swathes of public policy. This should be seen as an enhancement to representative democracy; people have the best solutions, not councils and not MPs.

Sir Christopher Kelly’s report, which has been accepted in full by the Prime Minister, proposed a ban on MPs claiming for mortgages, a ban on MPs employing relatives, a ban on London MPs and those living close to the capital claiming for a second home, an end to their £25-a-day subsistence claims, reduced resettlement grants and reduced travel claims. According to the Guardian, David Cameron and Nick Clegg are also expected to support the proposals.

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