First reactions to the Speaker’s statement on #MPexpenses

Two Liberal Democrat MPs have twittered their views on Michael Martin’s statement:

@joswinson resisting even debating the no confidence motion is the wrong path to take, this problem won’t just go away #MPexpenses

@lfeatherstone Speaker does not get it Another mtg is not the answer #MPexpenses

What’s your view? The comments thread awaits… (and by all means all post up links to any other responses you spot).

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14 Comments

  • Kicked into the long grass. A meeting and a brush off over the motion. It seems that Nick Robinson’s guess (let the recess cool tempers)was right. However for the hon.members there is July to look forward to.

    I see Sir Stuart Bell stood up, but sadly failed to mention his interest in the office!

  • Why are the Liberal Democrats not benefiting massively from all this?

  • Michael Martin is an arrogant sod, in addition to being stupid. The longer he stays, the more damage he does to Parliament.

    To what extent is the Government singing from one songsheet? Brown must have given Martin his unconditional backing. But that isn’t what David Miliband was saying yesterday, is it? Then there is Labour’s bedrock Catholic support, which Brown simply cannot afford to lose to apathy or the SNP (Martin’s finger-wagging of Kate Hoey was a disguised sectarian spat).

  • Totally disgusting statement.

    Nick Clegg should go on TV and state that no LibDem MP’s will return to the House until the Speaker has resigned. The Party is nearing a dangerous point of being seen as part of the system, and this move would put us back outside the box. The media coverage would be a much more effective megaphone than complaining in the House anyway, as it was when Nick demanded that Martin step down.

  • Michael Martin’s performance this afternoon suggests that when he met with Gordon Brown on Sunday he received a nod or a wink (or both) that he would be safe for now. That suggests that Gordon Brown has quite literally taken leave of his senses.

    When Nick Clegg identified Michael Martin as an obstacle to reform and called for his departure from Westminster he did the right thing. Other parliamentarians who care about the future of our parliamentary system must do the same.

    It is vital that Michael Martin’s history of obstructionism and his failure to protect Parliamentary privilege (the right kind of privilege) is kept before the public.

    John Stonborough, Martin’s media adviser – for a time at least, told the Sunday Times that Martin had exploded with rage when it was suggested to him that his claims for a second home were questionable because he lived in a palatial grace and favour apartment by the Thames.

    Stonborough also explained that Martin had ‘personally edited the … Green Book on parliamentary allowances’ in 2003 to keep the system much as it was and – as a result – facilitated the continuation of the Westminster gravy train now being revealed daily by the Telegraph.

    Of course Martin’s abject failure to restrain and lead a reform of the suppurating allowance system and his readiness to ally himself with a parliamentary mafia, which wanted nothing more than to keep the product of the allowance system away from voter’s prying eyes, is just part of the story. Martin was less than forthright about his own part in an unprecedented police raid on Parliament.

    Michael Martin told MPs that he had not been informed in advance that the police wanted to search an MP’s office without a warrant. He gave the impression that Jill Pay, the Serjeant at Arms, had failed to alert him to what was about to happen. At least 3 officials, who were in a position to know, told a Sunday newspaper that the Speaker had in fact been given advanced notice of the proposed police search and the lack of a warrant.

    The fact that Martin’s ‘friends’ and ‘defenders’ suggest that those who criticised him lack integrity and courage demonstrates just how poisonous and detached from reality the closed and self-regarding parliamentary mafia that surrounds Speaker Martin has become.

    Michael Martin can only survive with covert support from on high. Today’s episode in ‘from the Speaker’s chair’ must surely increase the chances that Martin and Brown will be found together in a politically fatal embrace.

  • Mark, I’m not just talking about the Speaker, I’m asking why the Lib Dems are not benefiting from this whole situation.

    The Greens are, UKIP are, even bloody David Cameron is!

  • Just a teeny bit of hyperbole from Stuart Bell MP – there had “never been in the history of our land such an attack on the Speaker”.

    Apart from those who were beheaded I assume anyway.

  • David Morton 18th May '09 - 5:31pm

    For the avoidance of doubt Martin should go at once. However I think we need to be really careful about all of this.

    1. This is turning into a “process story” and voters will hate that at a time of economic crisis.

    2. Morton’s First Law of Politics is that “People aren’t Stupid”. MP’s are in the sh*t and hated and all of a suden they want to spend days talking about someone marginally more in the sh*t and hated. It looks like classic scapegoating albeit with an unsympathetic victim

    3. We are a deeply conservative country in parts and people don’t like Chaos. Todays rolling news looks like Chaos.

    I think it would be/is easy for the Blogosphere to work its self into a fury over Martin however i wouldn’t expect much credit when he goes.

  • listening to the speaker this afternoon i was reminded of the moment in 1989 when the Romanian dictator came out to speak to the crowds, when people started to yell & boo he had no idea how to react & became increasingly incoherent. i dont beleive the Establishment will suddenly crumble before a velvet revolution but so far they havent found a way to close it down either.
    as to why the lib-dems havent benefited, looking back at the running average of the polls over the last 2 weeks the tories have lost 4%, labour 5% & our vote has held steady. not bad in the context surely ?

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