What does the Deputy Prime Minister do? Nick Clegg’s new responsibilities

As a result of the formation of the coalition Government, a number of responsibilities will be transferred from the Secretary of State for Justice to the Deputy Prime Minister.

Nick Clegg has already been given special responsibility for political and constitutional reform; now Prime Minister David Cameron has listed the powers which will help Clegg bring this into effect:

  • Introducing fixed-term Parliaments
  • Legislating to hold a referendum on the alternative vote system for the House of Commons and to create fewer and more equal sized constituencies
  • Supporting people with disabilities to become MPs
  • Introducing a power for people to recall their MP
  • Developing proposals for a wholly or mainly elected second Chamber
  • Speeding up implementation of individual voter registration
  • Considering the “West Lothian question” i.e. that Scottish MPs vote on matters affecting England, but not vice versa.
  • Introducing a statutory register of lobbyists
  • Reforming party funding
  • Supporting all postal primaries
  • The Deputy Prime Minister will also have policy responsibility for the Electoral Commission, Boundary Commission and Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority.

    Despite the Deputy Prime Minister’s new role, commentators have speculated about pitfalls aplenty and Lib Dem nerves that the coalition will make or break the Liberal Democrats as a party.

    Far from being a “non-job” as initially criticised, Nick Clegg has the chance to implement some important changes for democracy, and ones which Liberal Democrats hold particularly dear.

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    6 Comments

    • Andrew Suffield 3rd Jun '10 - 10:18pm

      Giving Clegg the job of reform was a clever move. It makes the liberals happy to have Clegg handling it, and positions Cameron to distance himself from it when he next needs to lean hard to the right.

    • I Nick going to do anything about postal voter fraud / practice before next years local elections? Also individual voter registration …action is needed now to stop Labours voter manipulation in local elctions

    • Andrea Gill 4th Jun '10 - 8:43am

      @Peter – “…action is needed now to stop Labours voter manipulation in local elctions”

      Going by yesterday’s by-elections, whatever manipulation they are doing isn’t working for them…

    • Just wondering what fewer constituencies actually achieves? Except less representation…

    • Dr Stuart Newton 15th Jun '10 - 7:28pm

      I SHALL SEND THIS LETTER, BY FAX, TO MR CAMERON TOMORROW (Wednesday, 16 June)

      Dear Mr Clegg,

      Here is one example of an incident that makes me ashamed to be British.

      We have a close family friend who is a black Zimbabwean.
      He lives in Peacehaven, and works for American Express in Brighton.
      One month ago he applied for Indefinite Leave To Remain in UK. He completed the relevant form, paid his £850 and sent everything, including his passport, to the Home Office. The decision takes approximately six months.

      Last week, he received notification from a family-member in Harare to say that his father had suffered a major stroke, and was in a serious condition in hospital.

      Not surprisingly, he wanted to visit his father – but the Home Office will have his passport for, perhaps, another five months.

      My friend telephoned the Home Office and explained the situation. The response was that he could have his passport back, but that he would have to reapply for Indefinite Leave To Remain, and he would forfeit the £850 that he had already paid.

      In my view, this is outrageous. I am all for strict controls on immigration. I am also all for compassion. UK is the home to hundreds of thousands of immigrants whose status varies from the questionable to the illegal: we are doing little about them. And yet, here is a man and his wife, who do everything by the book, and what do they get – bureaucratic insult and administrative contempt. He is not asking for money, merely compassion. Surely, assuming that he can provide a letter from a Zimbabwean doctor to confirm the nature of his father’s illness, then there should be no issue. Don’t we do compassion in UK any more?

      It would be good to think that this letter could be passed to the relevant Minister to ensure that immediate and compassionate action be taken right away, without the need to forfeit £850. I have deliberately not mentioned his name, because he does not know that I have written to you. I will, of course, be very willing to pass his details to a Minister if you feel that it is possible to consider a compassionate (and rapid) response.

      Yours sincerely,

      Dr Stuart Newton

    • Dr Stuart Nelson

      I sympathise. Brtish citizen’s are also going through something similar. A number of brits have had their renewals take over six months with no explanaton. I wonder if Nick Clegg could do something abou this?

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