Reform party funding before another scandal say MPs

Published on Monday, 30 January 2012 09:08
Posted by Scott Buckler

The Political and Constitutional Reform Committee calls on Government to pursue cross-party reform of party funding, before another "scandal intervenes"

In a short report published today, the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee calls for progress in reforming party political finance arrangements.

The Committee highlights the opportunity represented by the publication, on 22 November 2011, of the report of the Committee on Standards in Public Life (CSPL) on Political Party Finance, to achieve a solution.  It calls on the Government to fulfil its commitment to "pursue a detailed agreement on limiting donations and reforming party funding in order to remove big money from politics".

The Committee says that no party should be perceived as having gained disproportionately from reform in this area. It argues that a solution perceived as partisan risks undermining any positive impact on public opinion which would otherwise be achieved by resolving the issue.

The Committee concludes: "A cross-party solution will not be easy to achieve. But public confidence in politics risks being further undermined if some future scandal intervenes before a solution is in place. The Government and political parties must seize the opportunity presented by the CSPL to find such a solution."

Graham Allen MP, Chair of the Committee, said:

"Public concern about party political funding continues to undermine confidence in politics and MPs.  It is high time this issue was resolved.  The publication of the report of the Committee on Standards in Public Life provides a golden opportunity for the Government to get this issue back out of the box marked "too difficult" and make a serious effort to find a fair solution which is acceptable to all parties."


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