Constitutional Renewal — Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:12 pm on 10th June 2009.

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Photo of Baroness Royall of Blaisdon Baroness Royall of Blaisdon President of the Council, Privy Council Office, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, House of Lords, Leader of the House of Lords and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster 4:12 pm, 10th June 2009

My Lords, it is true—look at the figures. I understand the concerns expressed by the right reverend Prelate. However, we are not rushing through a programme. What we are doing is debating many of these issues, and taking the debate outside to the people.

Nearly two years ago, when my right honourable friend the Prime Minister became Prime Minister, he said that the constitution was something that he wished to discuss. He started the process with the governance White Paper, and introduced the White Paper on House of Lords reform. What we are doing is taking these things forward. However, it has become clear over the past few months that the public are even more disengaged from politicians than we thought they were. We have to bridge that gap, and it is important that we discuss these things.

The right reverend Prelate is absolutely right that individual responsibility and individual character cannot be determined or fashioned by regulation. There is a place for regulation: it is terribly important. However, we as individuals have to be responsible for what we do and say: the same goes for every parliamentarian.