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Peter Bone suggests confirmation hearings for newly appointed Cabinet ministers

By Jonathan Isaby

Peter Bone Peter Bone has this week already put a few noses out of joint by suggesting that Whips be abolished.

At yesterday's Business Questions he came up with another bright idea:

"This new Government have shown themselves willing to put themselves up for scrutiny, especially from Members on their own side of the House — the Opposition seem to have given up. May we have a statement from him on whether we could go slightly further and look into having confirmation hearings for new Cabinet Ministers?"

The Leader of the House, Sir George Young, was not exactly effusive with support for the proposal:

"My hon. Friend introduced a ten-minute rule Bill on Tuesday proposing the abolition of the Whips Office. I am not sure that it was an intelligent career move. The notion of confirmatory hearings for Cabinet Ministers is a novel constitutional innovation, because responsibility currently rests with the Prime Minister. Whether he would want to share it with my hon. Friend and others is a matter for him, so on this particular issue my hon. Friend will just have to hold his breath."

I'm not sure quite what Mr Bone has in mind - appearances before a departmental select committee or a confirmation vote by MPs - but I don't doubt that if he's taken by it that we will hear more in due course.


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