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Parliament has lost public respect over MPs' allowances

PUBLISHED: 23:11 18 May 2009 | UPDATED: 14:22 05 October 2010

From George Galloway, MP THIS Parliament is utterly discredited. It has lost all authority with and respect from a public angry at the revelations about abuses of Parliamentary allowances. I have defended Speaker Martin in the past, but now believe he ought to resign because he has utterly failed to get a grip on the situation.

From George Galloway, MP

THIS Parliament is utterly discredited. It has lost all authority with and respect from a public rightly angry at the revelations about the uses and abuses of Parliamentary allowances.

I have defended Speaker Martin in the past against the Tory snobs who didn’t like his accent or the fact he had been a manual worker. But I now believe he ought to resign because he has utterly failed to get a grip on the situation.

This Government tried to keep MPs’ allowances secret and imposed a three-line whip to defeat a motion which would have revealed all. It was only a decision in the courts that MPs should not be exempt from the Freedom of Information Act that turned things around.

But even then, the Commons Speaker tried to go to court to prevent MPs being made properly accountable, an action that I said I would not be associated with or bound by. Fortunately the legal action was ignominiously abandoned.

Since then, the Speaker has done nothing to redeem himself and has only made matters worse.

But the Speaker’s resignation and promises of reform are not enough. We have a parliament of MPs some of whom have been systematically fiddling the allowance system, the majority of whom were asleep at the wheel when the bankers paid themselves billions in bonuses as they took the financial system to the edge of destruction.

Parliament must be dissolved immediately and a General election held so that the voters can throw out the rogues and elect a new Commons to clean out the Augean stables. Only if there is a General election can the authority of Parliament be restored.

George Galloway, MP

(Respect, Bethnal Green & Bow)

House of Commons, Westminster

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