Why should an MP be allowed to veto a piece of legislation in secret?

Some bad old secrecy habits clearly still linger on in parts of the Conservative Party.

Step forward: Christopher Chope MP and his veto of a Bill to aid developing countries.

The Bill was at a stage where any one MP objecting to it would kill it off, and that’s what he did. In itself, of course it’s perfectly fair for an MP to view a Bill as being wrong. Myself, I’d change the weird way Parliamentary rules work to produce this power of veto,  but given it’s there I don’t hold it too much against an MP for using it.

But that doesn’t cover Christopher Chope’s actions.

You see: he vetoed the Bill and then tried to keep secret that it was he who vetoed it. Even when the question of who issued the veto was asked in Parliament, right in front of him, he kept silent.

His name has now been discovered (and you can read full details of the story here) but it shows just how rotten Parliament’s rules still are – and just how the old habits of secrecy and stuff the public’s right to know what MPs get up to in their jobs still linger on.

One response to “Why should an MP be allowed to veto a piece of legislation in secret?”

  1. I agree entirely – I’d like to see it banned to be honest, or at least have any objections made with a two minutes speech explaining why they object. Hiding behind anonymity is just pathetic.

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