Page last updated at 17:17 GMT, Wednesday, 4 November 2009

At-a-glance: expenses reaction

MPs from all parties and campaigners have been reacting to Sir Christopher Kelly's reform package for parliamentary expenses.

Here is a selection of their comments.

HARRIET HARMAN, LEADER OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS

The government welcomes and fully accepts the Kelly report which should be taken as a whole.

The report is another important step on the road to the public knowing that the allowance system has been put on a proper independent footing and that we are getting on with our important task of serving our constituents and this country.

SIR GEORGE YOUNG, SHADOW LEADER OF THE COMMONS

This issue has dogged the House for the past 12 months. The public are waiting for action.

Sir Christopher provides the basis for an enduring settlement which is fair both to the taxpayer and fair to the members of this House - existing and potential - who need the resources to do the job properly without relying on private means.

NICK CLEGG, LIB DEM LEADER

After a shameful year for this Parliament, I agree that the report finally gives us the opportunity to start restoring trust in the work of MPs here and that is why it must be implemented in full without any further delay.

JOHN BERCOW, COMMONS SPEAKER

All of us in public life want to restore the reputation of Parliament. We have to reach a conclusion to the expenses saga to achieve this. Sir Christopher has offered us the opportunity to do so and we should seize it.

TONY WRIGHT, LABOUR MP

We clearly, in logic, have no alternative but to accept it. If we do, along with the other changes that we have already made and are making, we finally have some realistic chance of digging ourselves out of this dreadful mess in which the House has got itself.

SIR PATRICK CORMACK, CONSERVATIVE MP

If the independent parliamentary authority is to be truly independent is it not important that the Kelly report is regarded as its agenda and not its prescription and before it considers these matters would it not be right for members to have a "take note" debate on Kelly?

ANGUS ROBERTSON, SNP WESTMINSTER LEADER

I very much welcome the Kelly recommendations moving Westminster, as they do, towards the higher standard currently operating in the Scottish Parliament. At the all-party talks on these issues, much hope was invested from all parties that it would be the independent standards authority that deals with pay, allowances and expenses, so surely it must be for the authority to take the report forward and not for MPs to cherry-pick what they like and what they don't like.

MARK DURKAN, SDLP LEADER

There is a very serious problem that the next Parliament will end up being a Parliament of double standards, because different standards will apply to the claims of expenses for different MPs - a very bad precedent for a legislative assembly to set.

SIR ALISTAIR GRAHAM, FORMER CHAIR OF THE COMMITTEE ON STANDARDS IN PUBLIC LIFE

I think they have got to take the package as a whole if they are going to have any change of starting the long process of restoring trust.

PAM GIDDY, POWER 2010 POLITICAL REFORM CAMPAIGN

The expenses scandal is just the symptom of a rotting system that can no longer resist the call for reform. It is now time for UK voters to send a clear message to our political leaders. People believe that our political leaders should take their medicine and move on.



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