Monday 2 November 2009

Wriggle it, and not just a little bit...

There was a distinct wriggling feeling about the answers relating to Kelly that were given in the Lobby this morning.

The discussion was all about the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) – the body that will put in place the Kelly review, or so we thought.

Hacks were pressing PM’s mouthpiece Simon Lewis on three issues:

1) Who will get to appoint IPSA?

2) What powers will it have to reject parts of Kelly?

3) When will it report?

The answer to the first question was that it will be the Members Estimate Committee (Harman, Bercow and co), in some sort of guise.

Lewis repeated that the important thing was that appointments were made in a “fair and open” way, correcting my assumption that the most important thing was that it was independent (a fair assumption, given the I in IPSA).

While highly unsatisfactory in its substance, the answer was actually the most satisfactory in terms of clarity.

Lewis responded to the second question on ‘powers to reject’ saying that it was “for IPSA” to take Kelly’s report and implement it as it saw fit within its remit.

It felt like an answer that was preparing the ground for at least some of Kelly to be ditched.

The answer to question three was a straight forward “I don’t know”, which applied even when Lewis was pressed to say whether IPSA would report before the election.

If, as some are starting to suspect, Kelly’s review is kicked into the long grass or watered down beyond recognition, I’ve no doubt the Government will pay the price at the ballot box.


subrosa said...

Are any of us surprised? So much money spent on these bogus inquiries.

I think nobody should vote. Have no idea what our unwritten constitution says about that though.

Anonymous said...

The Prime Minister said when he launched the enquiry that its results would be implemented in full.

Clearly he lied about that. Harman has already indicated that it will be watered down. But then when did this government ever listen to anyone who was in the least way considered to be anything of an expert on anything. (Oh I forgot, a good few of them hired experts in tax evasion at our expense to tell him how best to avoid paying tax.)

Subrosa: Don't worry. Whenever the constitution doesn't say something about something the government just gets its law officers to make something up.

That's what is so great about Great Britain.

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