STALYBRIDGE and Hyde MP Jonathan Reynolds has vowed to fight plans that would make it harder to dissolve Parliament.
Currently convention dictates that if a government fails to win a vote of no confidence it resigns – prompting the dissolution of Parliament.
This means that a government always has the support of more than 50 per cent of MPs.
However Conservative leader David Cameron now wants to change the law so that it would take a vote of 55 per cent of MPs to dissolve Parliament.
Mr Reynolds believes this move would be “dangerous and unconstitutional”. And he has vowed to work with backbenchers from all sides of the House of Commons to oppose it.
“Finding himself in the vulnerable position of coalition government, Mr Cameron wants to change the law so that it would take a vote of 55 per cent of MPs to dissolve Parliament,” said Mr Reynolds.
“This is not about strengthening or stabilising government. This is not about improving the practicalities of government, nor is it about principle.
“This proposal is no more than a thinly disguised attempt to protect a Conservative government from a Lib Dem walkout.
“The consequences would be dangerous and unconstitutional.
“Currently convention means a vote of no confidence – carried with a simple majority (ie more than 50%) – is enough to trigger the resignation of the government.
“There is a good reason for this. After all, if a government cannot command the confidence of at least 50 per cent of MPs is ultimately unworkable. It cannot pass laws. It cannot function.
“As MPs we share a responsibility to make sure the country is governed in as effective and stable way as possible, but this change has the potential to be both unproductive and chaotic.
“The proposal has critics in all parties – and I will be working with backbenchers from all sides of the House of Commons to oppose this retrograde move.”
Published May 19, 2010