Sir George attacks Prime Minister on Manifesto Betrayal
30 Jan 2003
Robin Cook
Robin Cook
Sir George condemned Tony Blair for doing a U-turn on a manifesto commitment, and undermining confidence in Parliamentary democracy. (See exchange from Hansard below)

Sir George Young (North-West Hampshire): Reverting to Tuesday's debate on the House of Lords, did not the Prime Minister do something far more serious yesterday than potentially undermine the legitimacy of the second Chamber? By seeking a clear mandate for a more democratic House of Lords and trying to renege on his contract with the electorate, has not he undermined democracy in the primary Chamber of Parliament?

Mr. Cook: I do not believe that there could be a more democratic process than giving the House of Commons, which represents the nation, a free vote on what it considers the right option. As I have often done, and will do again on Tuesday, I urge hon. Members to seize the opportunity to ensure that we find a centre of gravity that can create momentum for reform.
I agree with the Prime Minister that we should seek a constitutional settlement that will last for a long time, not only one Parliament or a short time. I doubt whether any reform that is not a democratic solution will have the legitimacy to stand the test of time.
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Copyright Sir George Young Bt. 2015