Kevin Barron speaks on Committee on Standards and Privileges

Our MP, as chairman, declares that the committee will continue to make ”  … … objective, fair and non-partisan adjudications.”

One might think that it has been suggested otherwise !

Kevin Barron (Rother Valley, Labour)

The Select Committee on Standards adjudicates on individual cases but also has a duty under Standing Order No. 149 to consider any matters relating to the conduct of Members. On 22 March, before any of the current controversy arose, the Committee received a thoughtful paper from lay members on their impressions of their first year on the Committee from January 2013 to January 2014, which was also sent to you, MrSpeaker, and was placed in the Committee’s programme for future discussion. The Committee has already decided to examine the current system for consideration of complaints about Members of Parliament, to consider improvements as required. We will be drawing up detailed terms of reference over the next few weeks, drawing on the lay members’ reflections. The lay members will continue to play a leading role in this work.

The Committee has reported the lay members’ paper to the House and it is available on our website. As the lay members say, it is a matter of regret that the Committee on Standards and Privileges’ recommendations on standards issues have not yet come before the House but the Committee is determined to lead on these issues in the interests of maintaining the integrity of this House.

The Committee does not think it is appropriate to keep a running commentary on its decisions in individual cases, but at our meeting today the Committee authorised me to say that it continues to believe that its individual adjudications are impartial, fair and non-partisan. It is extremely important that those who express opinions on these cases both within the House and outside it should have read closely the careful reasons and evidence-based conclusions set out in each report. The Committee will continue to work closely and co-operatively with the commissioner to reach objective, fair and non-partisan adjudications.”  

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