Public Affairs: Soap Box - John Lehal, managing director, Insight Public Affairs

In the new Parliament, backbenchers will enjoy greater powers over the Government than ever before. A number of important changes to increase the power of Parliament over the executive are already in motion.

A series of pre-agreed alterations to select committees will soon kick in, with MPs electing select committee chairs and members by secret ballot - and fewer MPs sitting on each. These are welcome changes, transferring power from the whips, but they are ad hoc and piecemeal.

If backbench MPs are to effectively hold the executive to account, more needs to be done. Select committees should hold more confirmation hearings for appointments. The Public Accounts Committee should be given more powers to examine the Government's budget. How about a backbench Business Committee to decide what gets debated on the floor of the House? It would allow greater time to be allocated to the scrutiny of government legislation, putting more power in the hands of MPs.

Our new MPs must be part of a powerful Parliament. It is likely that deputy PM Nick Clegg and Leader of the House Sir George Young will have overlapping remits in terms of House reform. There has been much talk of strong and stable, but Clegg and Young must also be radical and modernising.

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Latest Articles

Max Clifford trial jury finishes sixth day of deliberations

Max Clifford trial jury finishes sixth day of deliberations

The jury in the trial of celebrity publicist Max Clifford on 11 charges of indecent assault has been sent home and will reconvene tomorrow morning for a seventh day of deliberations.

Analysis: Fishburn chiefs keep eyes on future despite mounting departures

Analysis: Fishburn chiefs keep eyes on future despite mounting departures

Fishburn's management have defended their reinvention of the 23-year-old agency amid industry mutterings, fed by a series of director-level departures, about the direction in which it is going.

Hit or Miss? EasyJet backs Shakespeare Day campaign with world record attempt

Hit or Miss? EasyJet backs Shakespeare Day campaign with world record attempt

EasyJet aimed to break the world record for the highest ever theatrical performance for Shakespeare's 450th birthday yesterday with the Reduced Shakespeare Company performing on a flight from Gatwick to Verona.

Top PRs to gather in Barcelona for inaugural PRWeek Global Congress

Top PRs to gather in Barcelona for inaugural PRWeek Global Congress

Senior executives from IBM, Nestlé, Vedanta, GE, Cargill, Philips and Allianz will be among the speakers at PRWeek's first Global Congress.