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Sunday, May 09, 2010

Clegg has no right to give Tories right to speak first

Clegg has no right to give Tories right to speak first

The Times states: "Despite the Whitehall convention that a sitting Prime Minister has the first chance to construct a Government, he has declared that since David Cameron has won more votes and more seats the Tory leader has the “first right” to try to form an administration".

The view of the Independent: "We respect Mr Clegg's position that the Conservative Party leader deserves the first chance to woo him".

However, I fail to see how Nick Clegg deserves respect when he has ignored a Parliamentary convention and our constitution in this respect.

"Although the Conservatives have won the most seats and votes, the largest party does not automatically have the right to try to form an administration.

As the incumbent prime minister, that right is - constitutionally speaking - Gordon Brown's.

Indeed, it is his duty to stay in office until it becomes clear which party or combination of parties can command the most support in the new parliament.

"We must always have a government, and until a new government can be formed the present government carries on," explains Professor Robert Hazell, from the Institute for Government.

In 1974 Conservative Edward Heath stayed in power for four days after the election trying to put together a coalition even though Labour had more seats.

However in 2010, the Liberal Democrats - who potentially hold the balance of power - have said the Conservatives have first right to try and seek to form an administration


James Higham said...

The whole thing stinks, John.

Barnacle Bill said...

Once again the political classes looking after their own interests.