Politics UK: Culloden

Full Version: Motion for Select Committee
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Mr. Speaker, I beg to move

That a select committee of not more than 13 Members be appointed to investigate and to report to the House on the conduct of the Prime Minister in relation to the allegations made by the former Home Secretary and in particular to consider:
(a) his usage of MI6 for political and personal gain
(b) his knowledge and non-reporting of a serious crime with consequences for national security
© his creation of the Hutton Inquiry and it's potential use as a method to expel the former Home Secretary
(d) his covering up of illegal activity by the secret services

That the Committee shall within 14 days of its appointment report to this House such resolutions, articles of impeachment or other recommendations as it shall think fit.

That the Committee shall comprise 5 members of the Conservative Party, 4 members of the Labour Party, 3 members of the Liberal Democrats, and 1 member of the Referendum Party, but MPs named by the former Home Secretary shall not be allowed membership.

Mr. Speaker,

I stand here today making an unprecedented motion, but then again, we live in unprecedented times. Since the allegations, two days ago, by the former Home Secretary, of criminal acts on the part of our Prime Minister, our country has been shaken. And today, after the Prime Minister’s testimony to the Hutton Inquiry yesterday, it was announced by Scotland Yard that they are pursuing “new lines of inquiry” in response to whatever he told them.

Britain’s role as a world leader, something the Prime Minister and I both believe strongly in, has been shaken by these allegations. They might be true, they might not be true - but we do not know, and, with the Hutton Inquiry looking to last a few more months, it is imperative that this House, as the body that gives its confidence to the Prime Minister, know the truth so that he may continue in his role unimpeded if, as he has said, he is innocent.

This motion will create a select committee, formed of 13 MPs to be chosen representing the major parties in this august body. They will be empowered to investigate the allegations made by the Home Secretary and hopefully, can report to the House that we have no reason to worry about any criminal activity coming from this Government and make it clear that William Croft perjured himself.

An honourable former holder of the office, Winston Churchill wrote in his memoirs that “United wishes and good will cannot overcome brute facts. Truth is incontrovertible. Panic may resent it. Ignorance may deride it. Malice may distort it. But there it is.” This committee will seek nothing but the truth - the truth that, as the Bible tells us, will “set us free”, in this case from this cloud of unknowing that hangs over the head of Westminster today. For the good of this country, for the good of our future, let’s find out the truth.

(As Chief Whip Stan Orme)

Mr. Speaker, as today is an opposition day, I beg to move that this motion be read and printed a second time.
Mr Speaker:

ORDER! The motion on the order paper is open for debate.
Mr Speaker,

Let me join with the Leader of the Opposition, whom I had the great pleasure working with on this motion and committee. Britain has had its fair share of dark days, but in my adult life, I have never - never ever - seen this shamelessly cavalier attitude to governing, and corruption, run quite so deep. The Prime Minister made his appearance at the Hutton Inquiry yesterday. Today, Scotland Yard is opening “new lines of inquiry”. When we asked for the Prime Minister to respond to these allegations by the former Home Secretary, he refuted the allegations completely, which all begs the question, based on the evidence of the last term and all the corruption that has gone with it, who do we trust more at the moment - senior Conservatives or Scotland Yard?

The Leader of the Opposition has used one of my favourite verses in the Bible, John 8:32, in his statement. “Truth shall set you free.” Mr. Speaker, I am aware I have always been one to love a Biblical reference. I still, stubbornly, go to a Methodist service with my family every Sunday. For me, though, a different verse to the one used from my Right Honourable friend fits better for this situation: “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; love is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.” Corinthians 13:4. I love my country and I believe everyone in this House does as well, too. There is a reason we got into politics, and I genuinely believe it to be a noble endeavour for most. I want this country - my country, the one I love - to rejoice not at wrongdoing, but with the truth. 

I ask this House to support this motion because our country deserves better. For me, as a Christian, finding truth is an act of love, of patriotism, and of  such value that even the most eloquent poets and writers would struggle to express it adequately. And if we love our country, we have to get to the bottom of what has gone on here, and we have to do it together. So I implore members on all sides of the House to back this motion, and to vote not based on the colour of one’s rosette, but on the real, pressing, clear need to get Britain back on track.
Mr Speaker,

This motion falls shy of what is required from it.

From the very first line, it is worded in such terms to set out a political point, not secure a fair inquiry. With the phrases used, guilt has already been assumed. That is not how you deliver an impartial and measured judgement and, crucially, it defeats the very purpose of what the Opposition are trying to achieve - risking the creation of a deeply muddied picture regardless of the outcome

Equally the proposed composition of the committee falls short of what is rightful. Why should a party with ten MPs, and having never contested an election, be handed 20% as many seats as a government thirty five times its size?

I similarly believe that fourteen days will not provide adequate scope for full facts to be learned.

But Mr Speaker, if the Opposition want to try and sniff out opportunity, and if one believes it will fail to find any wrongdoing, then we should allow it to happen on their terms - so that when it turns up nowt, it will exonerate the Prime Minister wholly. There will be no wriggle room to write the story any other way should this come true. And I believe, and hope, it will. Therefore I will vote in favour of the motion. Let’s throw down the gauntlet - and prove that the Prime Minister is innocent of the charges laid before us.

DIVISION, clear the lobbies!
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