Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Mr Speaker must go

Yesterday Parliament gave its Speaker, Michael Martin, member for Glasgow Springburn, a mauling. He stood up to make a statement about MPs' expenses and while he was bumbling his way through reading the statement was hit by a barrage of spurious points of order - almost all of which called for him to resign or retire.

There was a motion calling on him to step down. Mr Speaker seemed to think it was an "Early Day Motion" on which no vote would take place. Various MPs stated that it was a "Substantive Motive" on which a vote must take place. The Clerk of the House explained sotto voce to the Speaker that it was a Remainder Motion not on the order paper and so no vote was required unless the government chose to move it onto the order paper.

Even if we disregard his part in the entire expenses scandal, Michael Martin, having been Speaker since 2000, should know the difference between various types of motion by now. He's an embarrassment; he should go.

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