June 2009: What can be done to rebuild trust in politics?

Thank you so much to everyone who took part in my most recent e-consultation; What can be done to rebuild trust in politics?

More than 100 people replied, each with their own take on how politics should be cleaned up, but with the same consistent themes – transparency, radical change to the system, restoring integrity to public life, ending personal profit, and punishment for those who have broken the rules.

Sir Christopher Kelly is chairing the Committee on Standards in Public Life’s review of the expenses system, and I have summarised the views put forward in this e-consultation and submitted them to the Committee. You can read my submission here: http://bit.ly/50rGO.

It is my view that the House of Commons must accept the review’s findings in full, without amendment: MPs can no longer make the rules.

One very clear message came through from your responses – rebuilding trust will take a long time and will not be an easy task. Cleaning up the expenses system is necessary, but we need much wider reform to fix our broken politics. Rather than politicians making all the decisions about democratic renewal, I support a Citizens’ Convention (http://www.unlockdemocracy.org.uk/?page_id=953) to engage the public in this debate.

Politics has been badly damaged by the MPs’ expenses scandal. I hope that there can be a silver lining – that politicians and the public together can grasp the opportunity for radical reform.

Once again, thank you for taking part in my e-consultation.

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