Select Committee on Modernisation of the House of Commons Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Letter from Mr Douglas Alexander MP to the Chairman of the Committee

  I am writing to express my support for the proposals that would involve the Commons to continue to have time to scrutinise effectively the work of the Government, while altering the working hours of the House of Commons.

  As you are aware, I have recently become a father and am keen to share in the parenting responsibilities of fatherhood. I would therefore, strongly support any proposals to move the working hours of the Commons during the week to conform with the present pattern on Thursdays, where final votes take place at 7pm. I have always regarded September as a working month and therefore, the prospect of the House sitting in September, to ensure proper scrutiny of the Executive, seems to me a sensible and practical way forward.

  I appreciate that you will be receiving a number of probably conflicting views on this matter, but I would urge you to think radically, given the opportunity that we now have to achieve a degree of modernisation, which would not only assist the MPs, but I believe, would send a powerful and important message to constituents about the capacity of Westminster to modernise itself effectively.

25 April 2002

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