Ken Clarke's Democracy Task Force has issued its interim report today. It's not the most exciting report I have ever seen but it does set out the parameters for a return to proper Cabinet government and a respect for Parliament. He wants to strengthen the Ministerial Code and also ensure that Parliament would always vote before the armed forces were ordered into action. Crucially he also wants to see the number of Special Advirsors halved, something we should all welcome. Here's his chat with WebCameron from the back of a cab...
The report makes the following recommendations...
* A system to entrench a process of collective Cabinet government. This will require a new and strengthened Ministerial Code, covering the required procedures for approval of policies by Cabinet
* To give the new Ministerial Code authority it must be approved by a Parliamentary resolution
* The responsibility for monitoring the Code should be taken out of the hands of the Prime Minister and placed in the hands of a body with powers comparable to those of the National Audit Office, reporting to a Parliamentary Committee
* The Committee on Standards in Public Life to establish a code of conduct for government publications and advertising campaigns
* Decisions to go to war or to commit troops to areas of conflict should require Parliamentary approval. Decisions on war making should no longer rest solely on the unfettered use of the Royal Prerogative by the Prime Minister
* Treaties with financial, legal or territorial implications for the United Kingdom or its citizens should require Parliamentary approval before ratification and should no longer involve the use of the Royal Prerogative