Clause 1 — Exemption of House of Commons and House of Lords
Orders of the Day
David Winnick (Walsall North, Labour)
I come back to the point that I made in an intervention: the strong and cynical feelings, however wrong they may be, that would arise if the Bill were passed without the amendments and we did not have to disclose the information. Surely the reaction is bound to be, however much we may dislike it, that MPs have something to hide, and that having passed the 2000 Act for everyone else, we were exempt. That feeling would do no service to MPs. Suspicion would continue to exist that we are trying to hide information and have taken the necessary steps.
The hon. Gentleman mentioned the devolved institutions: the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly. As I understand it, there has been no attempt on their part whatever to conceal their expenses, so we would have a situation—let us be clear about it—where the European Parliament, the Welsh Assembly, the Scottish Parliament and the Northern Ireland Assembly disclosed information, which would be in the public domain—