Oral Answers to Questions — Honourable Members and the Law

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 1st November 1976.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Dennis Skinner Dennis Skinner , Bolsover 12:00 am, 1st November 1976

asked the Lord President of the Council whether he has any intention of introducing legislation to subject Members of Parliament to the ordinary processes of law in all cases where bribery and corruption are concerned.

Photo of Mr Merlyn Rees Mr Merlyn Rees , Leeds South

As my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister told the House on 20th October, the Government are considering the report of the Royal Commission on Standards of Conduct in Public Life, including the recommendation that Parliament should consider bringing corruption, bribery and attempted bribery of a Member of Parliament acting in his Parliamentary capacity within the ambit of the criminal law. This is a question for Parliament, and my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House will report to the House how he thinks we can best make progress in the matter.

Photo of Dennis Skinner Dennis Skinner , Bolsover

Does my right hon. Friend accept that one thing that could give a fillip to the people who will be voting this week would be the announcement that in the next Session of Parliament we shall carry out the recommendations made by Lord Salmon in the Royal Commission's report to the extent that Members of Parliament will be treated like ordinary citizens in matters of corruption and bribery?

Photo of Mr Merlyn Rees Mr Merlyn Rees , Leeds South

It would be as well for the House to consider the matter in depth. There is a major question whether, on matters affecting the House, outside bodies should consider what to do about Members of Parliament. Without prejudging the issue, I can say that we cannot expect quick legislation. We should think about the implications of the Salmon Commission's report.