Thursday, 31 May 2007

Foreign Office's Failure of Accountablility to Parliment

Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett's reluctance to attend a session ahead of an EU summit, was "a failure of accountability to Parliament" according to the foreign affairs committee.
The summit will consider attempts by Germany to revive the EU constitution, vetoed by the French and Dutch in referendums two years ago.

"Deep concern" that MPs had not had a chance to question ministers was expressed by comitte chairman Mike Gapes. In a letter addressed to Beckett he said,"The committee regards the refusal of the [Foreign Office] to provide a minister to give oral evidence during this crucial phase of the discussions on the future of Europe as a failure of accountability to Parliament."

Since February Gapes has continually requested either Becket or Europe Minister Hoon to appear before the commitee "so that Parliament could be better informed on the government's approach to the discussions taking place and so that ministers could hear the views of the committee."

He also said that Mr Hoon had also refused to appear until June to which Gapes said"It is the strong view of the committee that an evidence session in June is too late.By then, decisions concerning the approach to be followed by government ministers and officials will effectively have been taken and the opportunity for Parliament to influence the debate will have passed."

A spokeswoman for Mrs Beckett said she and her ministerial term took their responsibilities to Parliament and the committee "very seriously". Of course she does, just not seriousley enough to spare 10 minutes of her time.

3 comments:

Biby Cletus said...

Cool blog, i just randomly surfed in, but it sure was worth my time, will be back

Deep Regards from the other side of the Moon

Biby Cletus

thebestnewsfirst said...

Thanks!
Glad to have you :)

Anonymous said...

Parliment?