If MPs do vote to committing themselves to declare it whenever they employ family members, surely this would be effectively a vote of no confidence in Michael Martin? After all, this will pre-empt his own longer term inquiry.
It should be remembered that David Maclean’s Freedom from Information Bill, which with the Labour and Conservative front benches’ initial passive assent very nearly became an act last year, came out of proposals by the Speaker Committee. If these proposals had been passed, the fallout from the Conway affair would have been worse by several degrees. Meanwhile, Maclean is part of the review being conducted by Martin – it doesn’t bode well.
As with Prescott, a lot of the criticisms of Michael Martin smacks of snobbery. Regardless of his accent however, he is a part of an establishment that is clinging desperately to the idea of Parliament being an aloof club. In short, he is emblematic of many of the problems we face in politics today.
As an alternative, how about… Ming Campbell?
Meanwhile, under the category of “MPs do love to take the piss sometimes”, here’s a heartwarming tale of a prodigal son being welcomed back into the fold (hat tip: Duncan Borrowman).