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Speaker’s Statement

Volume 471: debated on Monday 4 February 2008

The House will be aware that I made a statement on Thursday indicating that I had summoned an urgent meeting of the Members Estimate Committee for today. In the debate on the fourth report of the Committee on Standards and Privileges that afternoon, several Members expressed deep concerns about Members’ allowances. Similar anxiety about the audit system has been relayed to me privately, and we must also take fully into account the public interest in transparency. At this afternoon’s meeting of the Members Estimate Committee, we will be discussing urgently how to proceed on these matters. The subject of Members’ allowances is something that the House itself must determine, but it is clear that the Committee must find an effective and acceptable solution as quickly as is practicable. It has always been my practice to inform Members first, so I shall be writing to every Member of the House following today’s Committee meeting, announcing how the matter will be taken forward.