Restore trust in Parliament after "laws for sale" scandal - Howarth

January 30, 2009 2:24 PM

HowarthCambridge MP David Howarth is demanding urgent action to restore the public's trust in Parliament following Labour's "laws for sale" scandal.

He has attacked the government's slow pace of reform which has failed to clamp down on opportunities for abuse within Parliament.

Mr Howarth, Shadow Justice Secretary, will call on MPs to support a motion on Monday declaring that the UK "needs and deserves a Parliament that is fit for purpose and free from the taint of partial interests".

He has supported the Liberal Democrats' call for peers convicted of a criminal offence and facing a prison sentence to be expelled from Parliament.

Mr Howarth's motion comes after four Labour peers allegedly offered to change the law in return for money.

He claims there is now an urgent need for plans for an elected House of Lords to be brought forward.

Members are urged to express their disappointment in current legislation which "fails to provide for limits on donations or spending on political parties" and call for "urgent and effective action to reduce parties' dependence on large donors and trade union interests".

Mr Howarth said: "It is vital that every aspect of this government's work is open to scrutiny to make sure that taxpayers are getting value for money.

"The public have to be able to trust Parliament and they cannot do so unless stringent safeguards are put in place to prevent the abuse of power."

What would you like to do next?