Yesterday the House of Commons debated a matter directly relevant to the nature of Parliamentary sovereignty in the United Kingdom. The debate, on the Speaker’s role in events surrounding the Metropolitan Police’s search of Damian Green’s Westminster office, dealt with elemental issues concerning the type of democracy which we have in the UK.
The House considered how free MPs in this country are to do their job unhindered and how effectively their ability to hold the executive to account is being upheld. An amendment, which would have allowed a Commons’ Inquiry Committee to consider the incident prior to the conclusion of the police’s investigation, was defeated by four votes. A clear reverse for Parliamentary scrutiny on a crucial issue.
Mr Dodds and his party colleagues did not attend. Neither did Lady Sylvia Hermon, who is mourning the death of her husband. But is it not indicative of the DUP’s attitude to Westminster that not one of its MPs could turn for such a vital vote? As Danny Kennedy has remarked,
“This shows just how singularly useless the DUP’s dual-mandate MPs are. This was a crucial vote. The Commons should have been able to investigate the Damian Green affair right away. The DUP has allowed the government to get off the hook yet again.”