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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 November 2005, 12:03 GMT
Davis wants England-only voting
David Davis
Mr Davis does not want the 'expense' of an English Parliament
Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish MPs will be barred from voting on English laws if Conservative leadership hopeful David Davis becomes prime minister.

He pledged England-only votes in the House of Commons - but ruled out a separate English Parliament.

"Only English MPs could vote, let's say, on English education policies or English health policies," he said.

The government has been criticised for relying on votes of Scottish MPs to get controversial English laws through.

West Lothian

Control of health, education and transport policy has been devolved to the Scottish Parliament, which was set up in 1999, but MPs with Scottish seats can still make laws on these issues for England.

If you give a message to young people that doesn't make sense they don't believe any of it
David Cameron on drugs policy

At the moment Welsh MPs can also vote on England-only matters - such as banning smoking - where the equivalent decision for Wales is taken by the Welsh Assembly.

Campaigners for an English parliament claim allowing Scottish MPs to vote on matters only affecting England - dubbed the West Lothian question - is unfair.

Mr Davis, who in 1999 backed the launch of a campaign for an English parliament, was asked his views on the issue by a caller on a BBC Radio 5 Live phone-in.

Majority

He said: "My view is that we should have an English vote - otherwise we would have to go to the expense of another set of MPs.

"We would have an English vote, which only allows English MPs to vote on matters which affect England only.

"The Speaker would make a ruling on any bill and then the outcome of that would determine who could vote.

"Only English MPs could vote, let's say, on English education policies or English health policies, and so on. That's the way to do it."

Although more people in England voted Conservative than Labour at the last election, Labour still has a majority of 44 over all other parties in England.

Drugs

Speaking on the same programme, Mr Davis' leadership rival David Cameron defended his call for the drug ecstasy to be re-classified.

He said that when he was a member of the home affairs select committee, their inquiry found it was not credible to young people if ecstasy and heroin were in the same category.

"If you give a message to young people that doesn't make sense they don't believe any of it," Mr Cameron said.

He called for more education on drugs in schools, particularly from former addicts, and more treatment programmes.

Asked what he would do if he was in government and found an adviser was taking class A drugs, he said: "If anyone on my team, or anyone involved with me, was found to be breaking the law there would have to be disciplinary procedures and if someone had a drug problem I would want them to get help."


SEE ALSO:
Smoking out the big question
28 Oct 05 |  UK Politics


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