Clare Short: 'Hung Parliament is what we need'

By Jonathan Bartley
April 10, 2010

Clare Short has become the latest political figure to suggest that a hung or ‘balanced’ Parliament would be a very positive thing.

In a pre-recorded interview which was broadcast on the Today Programme this morning, she described Parliament at ‘broken’ and suggested that a hung Parliament could be way to begin to fix it. She also highlighted the importance of ‘independents’ and independent thinking. Central to her argument was that the Commons needed to be more effective and have more power over the executive. A hung Parliament she said, would help to deliver that.

The interview is available here (At 1hr 48 mins) on BBC i-player

Coming from Clare Short this is important. Sitting latterly as an independent after she resigned the whip, she has 27 years experience of what it is like both inside and outside a party in the House of Commons. She has seen things change too during this time.

This is a bit of what she said:

“The state of the Commons is terrible. No one goes in the Chamber. Everything is guillotined. You can’t get any time to make a substantial speech. No one is listening to anybody. It’s miserable. It’s in a very bad shape.

“I think a hung Parliament would be terribly good for us because it would bring power back to the chamber.”

“I think if the majority is small or dependent on some kind of agreement with the Liberal Democrats which is very likely, people will be stuck in the building - votes will be close. The executive instead of being arrogant will have to be nice to people and keep people on board. And that will change things all to the good.”

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