British MP calls for cancellation of Queen's speech for democracy's sake

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London, Nov. 16 (ANI): Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has called for the cancellation of the Queen's speech that would mark the beginning of the new parliamentary session, by saying that her address would be sheer "waste of everyone's time."

He has demanded that the speech should be replaced by an emergency programme of reform designed to"clean up politics once and for all".

The Independent quoted Clegg as saying that the pageant scheduled on Wednesday was a "waste of everyone's time" as Parliament will only sit for another 70 days before it is dissolved for the general election expected in the spring.

Wednesday's event will be the 55th occasion when the Queen reads out a list of the Government's planned Bills.

But Clegg denounces this year's ceremony as "based on a complete fiction."

"The Queen's Speech will be dressed up as the way to 'build Britain's future' when it will be little more than a rehearsal of the next Labour Party manifesto, an attempt to road-test policy gimmicks to see whether they might save this Government's skin," he said.

"It is a waste of everyone's time, and should be cancelled in favour of an emergency programme of political reform," he added.

Clegg urged the Commons to reach an action plan to reform Parliament in the few months until MPs leave for the election battle.

According to him, the first step would be to approve proposals to be set out by the Public Administration Committee to curb the power of the Commons whips and give more influence to backbench MPs.

That should be followed by moves to introduce fixed-term parliaments, agree a code of conduct for election candidates, sack corrupt MPs, make the House of Lords fully-elected and reform the Commons voting system.

"These changes would be a tall order, but with political will they could finally transform our threadbare democratic institutions. Instead of being just a sorry footnote to a shameful year at Westminster, these months would become a moment of great change in British political history," he said. (ANI)

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