New Clause 7 — Variation in limit of number of holders of Ministerial offices
Chris Bryant (Rhondda, Labour)
Yes, he delivered his remarks with a magisterial largesse- [Interruption.] No, I was not going to say laissez faire.
The hon. Member for Louth and Horncastle made some extremely good points, and I hope that many Members will reject the Bill on Third Reading for precisely the reasons he advanced. One of the arguments I have tried to make throughout is that I fully understand why many hon. Members feel that, following the expenses saga in particular, we need to be very humble about the authority of the House and individual Members. However, we should not throw the baby out with the bath water. We should be proud of our representative democracy and the system we have. It does not work perfectly. There are things that have to be improved. As in the church, there will always be things that are semper reformanda. However, we should not in the process suddenly start to say that the whole of the political system is corrupt, wrong and rotten, and that therefore we have to start all over again.
I differ from the hon. Gentleman on one point. He said that the system is not much different from that in 1945, 1918 and 1850-