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MPs may soon get the opportunity to question Lord Mandelson and other ministers from the Upper House

It's been a very confident 24 hours for John Bercow. He rebuked the Defence Secretary yesterday for his "rank discourtesy" to the Commons for late publication of the Bernard Gray report.  This morning he is in the newspapers urging MPs to repay money owed under the Legg review.  Today he is making the ground on scrutiny of ministers in the Lords.

Mandelson Peter Sky This morning's Guardian reports that government ministers Lords Adonis and Mandelson may soon be subject to direct scrutiny from MPs if the new Speaker gets his way.

As a first step ministers from the Lords will appear before MPs in the debating chamber off the medieval Westminster Hall but Mr Bercow's eventual hope is for ministers from the Lords to sit alongside their ministerial colleagues on the Commons government frontbench to answer questions.

The Guardian reports that Lord Mandelson is "full of enthusiasm" for the planned changes while Lord Adonis wrote to the Speaker saying that he would be "very willing to oblige".

Procedures put in place now will likely be very relevant to a Tory government should it be elected next year.  David Cameron is expected to make a large number of appointments to the Lords and some of them will be senior ministers.  Former MP Lord Bates of Langbaurgh is one tipped for a major job in a Conservative administration.

Tim Montgomerie

> Speaker Bercow sets out a "Backbencher's Bill of Rights" to enhance the power of backbench MPs


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