Memorandum from John Mann MP
I wish to make comment on a number of specific
12. As well as the list of potential speakers,
the archaic concept of seniority should go. The Committee and
Parliament needs to ask:
"Why are my constituents less important
now than they were under the last year of my predecessor (Joe
Ashton MP 1968-2001)?"
27 and 28. I am the first MP in 125 years
to live in my Constituency. The Committee and Parliament needs
to ask itself:
"Are any changes made likely to discriminate
in favour of those MPs who live with their families in London
and against those whose families live in the Constituency."
A lot of nonsense has been talked by London
based MPs about seeing their children more often. Any change that
makes it harder for me to see my children would be extremely retrograde.
The Committee and Parliament needs to ask itself:
"Are any changes likely to encourage more
MPs to have their family home in London and is this in the best
interest of UK democracy?"
30. This paragraph shows the pro London
bias at its worst. The committee and Parliament needs to ask itself:
"How will these changes contribute to the
sharing of family responsibilities for MPs whose children live
40. Currently I am able to guarantee certain
times when I can be solely responsible for children, including
September. This is invaluable. Any loss of September should be
matched by specific weeks related throughout the year to school
holidays. To overcome the obscure nature of local authority holiday
a half term of Thursday to Tuesday inclusive
would be highly advantageous.
46 and 47. I have worked professionally
with electronic voting systems and I do not see how pararaph 47
is not contradictory. Multiple divisions though any system of
electronic voting would be unworkable, because of the complexity
of consequential voting. This could only work in a Chamber where
Parliamentarians had electronic voting pads at their desk. Electronic
voting and the lobby system are alternatives.
Electronic scanning would not speed up divisions,
as the queue to scan would remain as now and the forgetful MP
would be disenfranchised or would need a cumbersome back-up system.
The only existing electronic systems that would
work would be desk based in the Chamber and MPs offices, thus
removing the lobby principle.
Finally, in order to ensure that the changes
are family friendly, I propose that the Committee survey MPs to
"How many MPs have school age children
living in their Constituency and outside London commuter belt?"
15 January 2002